Richard Bright, the BBC Studios executive producer behind such documentaries as Werner Herzog’s Nomad: In The Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin and Angela Carter: of Wolves and Women, has passed away at age 51.
In a statement to Realscreen, BBC Studios director of content Ralph Lee said: “We were shocked and saddened to hear about Richard’s death. He was a brilliant creative whose enormous body of work across arts, popular culture and history programmes leaves an indelible mark on the TV landscape. His family and colleagues are foremost in our thoughts right now and we are providing them with our full support during this difficult time.”
Jonty Claypole, director of BBC Arts, added: “Richard was a creative powerhouse, who developed and delivered some of the greatest arts documentaries and series of our time. He was kind, fiercely intelligent and a truly original thinker. The films he made, and the family of directors and production teams he nurtured around him, are an extraordinary legacy. We miss him immensely and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
Bright’s most recent credits as an executive producer have included Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear (BBC2), The Forger Who Fooled the Nazis (BBC4) and Rhythms of India (BBC4).
A development executive and director, Bright’s acclaimed body of work — which he described as “distinctive films with emotional heart” — also includes docudrama The Flu That Killed 50 Million and Secret Life of Sue Townsend .
He was in production on documentaries Miss World 1970: Beauty Queens & Bedlam and Being Bridget Jones, both for BBC2.
Bright’s other credits include Greg Davies: Looking for Kes, What Do Artists Do All Day and Handmade to Egon Schiele: Dangerous Desires. He has also produced arts and travel series such as Handmade on the Silk Road, The Art of Japanese Life (pictured) and, most recently, Age of the Image.
Before joining BBC Studios, Bright worked as a freelance development executive, working across arts, history and documentary.
At BBC Bristol, he was responsible for two Lucy Worsley series, A Very British Murder and Elegance & Decadence: The Age of Regency.
Leading development teams at Tiger Aspect, IWC and Flashback, Bright’s other major commissions include BBC Two drama doc Escape from Saigon, C4′s Grierson-winning 1982: Brink of Apocalypse, Andrew Marr’s Making of JFK for BBC2, We Can Make You Talk: The History of Interrogation for the History Channel and Discovery’s Criminal Masterminds.
As a producer and director, he made many acclaimed docs for broadcasters including HBO’s The One That Got Away.
An obituary for Bright, written by friend Richard Nash, was published in The Guardian Tuesday (Aug. 4).