People/Biz

Former BBC NHU head launches True to Nature

Former BBC Natural History Unit boss Wendy Darke (pictured) has launched the Bristol-based indie True to Nature and appointed two BBC execs to the natural history firm's production and development team.
June 23, 2016

Wendy Darke (pictured), former head of the BBC Natural History Unit, has launched a Bristol-based indie set to specialize in developing natural history content for the global marketplace.

True to Nature will look to deliver innovative natural history formats for international broadcasters and digital SVOD platforms, and will also explore such genres as specialist factual, drama and entertainment in an effort to engage new audiences.

In conjunction with the launch, Darke has also named two former BBC executives to the shingle’s production and development teams, with further appointments to be announced in the coming months.

Former BBC production manager Helena Berglund will join True to Nature as head of production. During her time at the UK pubcaster, Berglund was charged with overseeing the ‘Natural World’ strand and played a key role in developing CBBC’s ‘Deadly’ brand, including Deadly 60, Live and Deadly and Deadly Mission Madagascar.

Meanwhile, former BBC exec Jody Bourton has been tapped as development producer. Bourton’s production credits include Animal Planet’s River Monsters and BBC2′s Nature’s Weirdest Events.

Darke departed the BBC in April after a 25-year run during which she was responsible for overseeing a raft of hit series, including BBC1′s Africa, Life Story and Big Blue Live, and BBC2′s Wild Japan and Attenborough’s Giant Dinosaurs. Prior to exiting, she commissioned a BBC Natural History Unit pipeline that includes Planet Earth II, Oceans, Dynasty and Seven Worlds.

“My passion is to use great storytelling to build lifelong relationships between people and the natural world,” said Darke in a statement. “I am also excited about opportunities to expand the portfolio to include earth sciences that relate to the natural world and also topics that capture our curiosity around human nature and relationship with our planet.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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