BBC Studios names head of Natural History Unit

The factual division of BBC Studios has elevated long-time exec producer Julian Hector (pictured) as head of the British pubcaster's Natural History Unit.
September 1, 2016

BBC Studios Factual has elevated long-time exec producer Julian Hector (pictured) to become head of the UK pubcaster’s Natural History Unit (NHU).

In the role, Hector will be charged with overseeing global brands and content across all platforms, setting and delivering the NHU’s creative and business strategy.

He will report into BBC Studios director of factual Lisa Opie.

Hector began his natural history career at the BBC’s NHU in 1993, producing such series as Battle of the Sexes and Wild Africa. He would rise to become editor of Natural History Radio before becoming an executive producer for the Unit’s television department, producing such series as Tigers About the House and Ivory Wars with Panorama.

“This is such an important time to lead the Natural History Unit,” said Hector in a statement. “We thrill our audiences with the extreme close-up and immerse them in the wonderful world of nature; and with people and nature ever more challenged to share the same space on earth, it has never been more important to tell stories of that relationship.”

Hector replaces Wendy Darke, who left the post in April and subsequently established her own prodco specializing in natural history, True to Nature.

The UK pubcaster has also given Oliver Thompson, currently head of production for factual in its Bristol office, an expanded role as head of business for the NHU.

“I’m delighted that the world class credibility and heritage of the Natural History Unit is in such strong hands,” said Lisa Opie, the recently appointed director of factual for BBC Studios, in a statement. “Julian brings passion, vision and vast experience to the Unit. Oli will drive the business through this important and challenging transition into the competitive market. Together they’ll make a powerful team.”

(With files from Barry Walsh)

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