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Angry Brigade

Producer and director

60’ drama-doc for BBC4 on the 1970’s bombers who briefly struck terror at the heart of the British political establishment.

Blethering Scots

Producer and director

Educational programme, made in short clips for schools on the Scots language. 

A Burning Desire

Producer and director

Single documentary on the children that commit arson.


In Britain, fire safety talks at school tend to be quite mild affairs. In the States, they realise the long-term risk of not dealing with young fire-setters at the earliest stage. So, when armed Fire Officers identify a child with a tendency to light fires, they arrest them and scare the shit out of them.     

Burns in the USA

Director & Camera

1 x 60' for the BBC on the surprising influence of the work of Robert Burns on the emerging United States of America and some of its greatest cultural and political figures.


Writers, poets and folk singers like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan all fell under the spell of the Bard, as did slave abolitionist Frederick Douglass and US president Abraham Lincoln.

Bank of Dave

Series Producer, director and camera

2 x 47' for Channel 4 and 3 x 50 for international distribution, then a 47' sequel. 


Fed up with the High Street banks, Minibus dealer David Fishwick sets out to start his own - armed with little more than an iron will, a Phil Collins CD and a bunch of bananas.


Winner of BAFTA Scotland and RTS awards 

Nominated for 4 others including BAFTA (UK), Bulldog and Broadcast awards

Called to Account


4 x 30' Studio debate programmes on current issues (Nuclear Power, Food Safety, Animal Experiments, Water Quality, NHS and Teenage Drinking)

Cardinal Winning: Vatican Man

Producer and director

1 x 50' for Channel 4's 'Witness' strand examining the moral drive behind the controversial British Cardinal Thomas Winning.


"admirably even-handed” Time Out 

Civil War

Series Producer

4 x 30’ re-appraisal of the 'English' Civil War (2002) with Wark Clements for BBC 2. Presented by Historian (now politician) Tristram Hunt. Director Pete Strachan.

Clydebank Blitz

Producer and director

1 x 60' for the BBC. On the 13th and 14th of March 1941, the town of Clydebank was almost wiped from the map. It was the heaviest Luftwaffe bombing raid on any Scottish town in the Second World War. It was estimated that only seven buildings were left undamaged and only 2,000 out of a population of 60,000 people were left living in the town after the raid. Clydebank lay in ruins and the legacy of the Blitz is a town that has still not fully recovered – even seventy years later.  

Battlefield Britain: Culloden

Producer and director

60’ for BBC’s BAFTA-winning series ‘Battlefield Britain’ (2004), employing extensive CGI and live action.


“By far and away the best history series on British television to date…” “Much has been made of the cleverness of the computer graphics in this series, but it is the human beings that really make it work.” Observer.  

Dave: Loan Ranger

Executive Producer

1 x 47'. First Dave Fishwick took on the bankers with Bank of Dave, now he's tackling payday loan companies and looking for a new ways to help people trapped in cycles of debt get back on track.

Winner best Current Affairs programme BAFTA Scotland awards (2014)

The Day Britain Died

Producer and director

3 x 40’. Andrew Marr explores the idea that Britain is effectively dead and turns political detective, looking for the day, the event or the person that killed it.


“…eloquent and entertaining… …provocative…” Times,

“…you won’t want to miss this… …With eloquent images to put flesh on his thesis… …thought provoking viewing.” Express.

The Drinker

Producer and director

Heidi, Mick, Sam, Ricki, Victor and Norman battle their inner demons - and each other - in order to face what has driven them to drink.  

Double award winner

From Here to Modernity

Series Producer

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The Gap

Producer and director

My first proper programme - thirty largely observational minutes of documentary on Watford Gap Motorway Services with Brian Glover. Well regarded, this programme was shown in three different Regions and twice on the BBC Network. 


At the time this particular Service Station was the most famous in Britain, regarded by many as the point where 'the North' and 'the South' meet. Fortunately so did a lot of other characters...  

Get a New Life

Producer, director and camera

An 8-part series fronted by two property and relocation experts that helped people leave Britain for a new life abroad.


I helped setup and design the series and I produced, directed and filmed all the location material (largely observational) for half (4) of the programmes in the initial series:


From Manchester to the Cayman Islands, Glasgow to Tuscany, Coventry to New Zealand, and London to the Canaries.

Heveningham Hall: Behind the Facade

Producer and director

Current affairs programme on the parlous state and mysterious recent history of one of the East of England's most impressive stately homes. 

High and Dry

Producer and director

Single 30' documentary. Our increasing thirst for water is causing enormous environmental damage and the driest and most populated parts of the country are having to face a future in which the days of cheap and abundant water are over. 

Inside Crime

Producer and director

Two 30 minute magazine programmes on Crime in London.


'Community' explored the different ways that communities and the police in Britain and the States deal with crime.  'Witness' looked at the problem that the Criminal Justice system has with helping witnesses to come forward and provide their evidence in safety. 

Itching, Sneezing, Coughing and Wheezing

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Irrational Behaviour

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Meridian Audit

Producer and insert director

4 x 30 Studio debate programmes, based around four 'reports', on the Rail service, Health service, Justice and Police. The reports were compiled from official statistics and filmed accounts that illustrated the issues that the figures reveal.

Million Dollar American Princesses

Drama director / edit producer

Series 2 of the very succesful 4 x 45' dramatised documentary series on the real 'Downton Abbey'. The stories of twelve outstanding women presented by Elizabeth McGovern for Smithsonian

The Mission

Series producer

5 x 47 for Channel 5. Writer Peter Stanford explores 5 religions as they exist today in Britain.


Islam in Bradford, Hinduism in Neasden, the Christian Orthodox church in North Wales, a Seaman's Mission in Hartlepool and the work of St Martin's in the Field in Central London. 

“….the series’ straightforward, enquiring approach produced an effective and often moving picture.” ITC review 1998.

Monte Cassino: The Soldier's Story

Producer and director

A 60′ drama-doc for Channel 4 and NDR


“…what gave a vivid, poignant documentary its edge was the madness within the madness …an utterly moving film.” Herald.


Producer and director

Documentary investigation into American justice with Hayes Bolton as part of C4’s award-winning Lethal Justice season.

My Childhood

Series producer and director of three programmes

7 x 60’ with Endemol for BBC3, in which seven well-known figures face a psychiatrist to see what makes them tick. John Leslie, Kym Marsh, Anthony Warrell-Thompson, Nigel Benn, Jenny Eclair, Janet Street-Porter and Stan Collymore all set out to investigate their own life story – starting with their childhood.


“a sensational TV show” Sun
“…absolutely fascinating to watch” Guardian.

Winner BAFTA Scotland 2006 (John Leslie)

Number 73

Producer and director

The Routemaster - one of the world's most iconic buses - nears the day when it will be replaced. This observational documentary looks at the bus, the passengers, and he day-to-day challenges of operating one of the busiest routes in London using one of the oldest vehicles on the road.

Nominated at the Prix Circom European TV competition 2000 

Out of the Arc

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Out of Site

Producer and director

1x 30' on the desperate state of some Council traveler sites just as the Government was introducing proposals to end roadside Gypsy encampments.  


The programme investigated the strength of feeling against the new proposals - described by some as 'ethnic cleansing' - and examined some of the misconceptions, racial prejudices and realities of life as a 'Gypsy'.  

QE2: The last of the Great Liners

Producer and director

On the 20th September 1967, thousands lined the banks of the River Clyde to watch the Queen launch one of the most technically advanced, fashionable and exciting transatlantic liners ever built. That day also marked the end of the heady days of shipbuilding on the Clyde. As the ship sailed away, the industry that created it slowly crumbled in it’s wake.


Nominated for Celtic Media Festival best Factual Documentary Award 2008


The Question Tonight

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The Road from Jarrow

Series producer / director

3 x 30 min for BBC2. Margaret Thatcher's former press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham, takes the Road from Jarrow to London, the same route that the unemployed marchers of the 'Jarrow Crusade' took 60 years earlier. On the way he explores what has happen to to Britain since. 

"Absorbing" Time Out, 

"Meaty" Daily Telegraph,

"Engaging, ingeniously structured history lesson" Independent.

Trees for Life

Producer and director

10 x 10 min on the wonder of Trees as part of a Trees for Life campaign


Silver award at the 40th Annual Cindy Competition 1999

Quintinshill: Britain’s Deadliest Rail Disaster

Producer and director

Neil Oliver unlocks the mystery surrounding the worst rail disaster in Britain 

1 x 60′ Drama doc with Finestripe Productions for BBC2Scotand, BBC2, BBC4 and BBC Worldwide

Two RTS Scotland award nominations: best history and best editing (winner) for Joe Speirs.

Restoration Village

Producer and director

2 x 60' episodes for the third of the BBC's Restoration Series - presented by Griff Rhys Jones - in which the public vote for the 'building at risk' that they would like to be saved.


The two programmes that I produced and directed were in Wales and the South East of England.

Russian Revolution

Producer and director

An international 2 x 1 hour dramatised history for Five / Discovery / CBC / NDR and others with IWC Media. 


" expertly crafted dramatic narrative… ... to bring the cataclysmic events of 1917 to vivid life.” Sunday Times.


Short-listed for Grierson Documentary Award (2005)

The Santa Files

Executive producer

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Scotland and the Klan

Producer and director

The role of Scots in shaping the concept of the American Dream is a story often celebrated but could Scottish settlers have also had a hand in America’s racist nightmare?

Neil Oliver travels over two thousand miles to examine links between racism today and the Scottish settlers that first occupied America's Deep South.

Nominated for Celtic Media Festival Factual Documentary award 2017 (May)

Nominated for RTS Scotland Best History Documentary award 2017 (May)

Second Thought

Series Producer

10 x 30'  topical magazine series on the environment. My first Series, each programme was recorded 'as live' in the studio only 1 week ahead of TX, with inserts shot and assembled only days earlier to ensure the series was as Current as possible. 


Nominated for ‘Best national and regional news and current affairs programme’ at the British Environment and Media Awards, 1991

Sex, Guys and Videotape

Producer and director

A one-hour documentary on the prosecution of seven Bolton men for having consenting gay sex, filmed during the course of the trial with dramatic reconstruction of the trial itself.


“…a compelling story” Time Out

“…It was the proudly subjective way the story was told that made it remarkable… …convincingly acted… …startling” Independent on Sunday. 

Shedding Tiers

Producer and director

As ministers consider reducing the layers of local Government in England and Wales, Brian Milligan explores how the town hall works and how important it is in other countries.  


Producer and director

1 x 50' for the BBC's Everyman strand on 'Joan the English' who pulled off what is potentially one of the greatest con-tricks in history.


Dressed as a man, she tricked her way into the papacy and reigned for over two years before being discovered - when she gave birth in the street. 

Shrink Rap

Series director

15 x 47 psychological studio shows with Pamela Connolly and major minds and celebrities, recorded in studios on both sides of the Atlantic.

Nominated for BAFTA Scotland Best Factual Ent. Awards 2009 (Billy Connolly)

Nominated for BAFTA Scotland Best Factual Ent. Awards 2007 (Sharon Osbourne)

Silencing a Sikh

Producer director

Carole Peters reports on the contraversial use of a little-used 'National Security' law to detain and deport a Luton Man without charge or trial. Karamajit Singh Chahal, a resident of this country for 20 years, has been held in Beford Prison for two and half years without any evidence being revealed against him. 


Silencing a Sikh examines the allegations, and questions if it is right that the supposed needs of national security should ever outweigh human rights and the desire for natrural justice.

The Spice Trails

Edit Producer

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Step by Step

Producer and director

The everyday lives of Sophia and Ray. Sophia was 17 when she had both legs and several fingers ampuated - she's going skiing. Ray Edwards had all his arms and legs ampuated after cutting his finger - he's learning to swim. 

Winner 4 awards including one from the BMA

"Ian Lilley's film……manages the rare feat of being compassionate and funny, not sentimental and manipulative." Time Out. 

TJ and Yorkie

Producer and director

A 30 minute glimpse into the life of a young homeless couple, including Cockroaches, soft drugs, begging, prostitution and the tensions that inevitably develop.


"Ian Lilley's very sharp portrait of TJ & Yorkie……sees them trying to keep together in a unforgiving, autumnal city.” Independent 28/10/94.

Commendation at the Prix Circom European TV competition 1995

Touring Britain

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True Blue

Producer and director

30' programme for Carlton Television's Everyday Lives series.


Gerry Bowel and his wife are both blind but the observational programme concentrates instead on Gerry's everyday obsession with Chelsea Football Club, the couple moving house, caring for their sighted daughter and the impending birth of their next daughter (named Chelsea).

UK Law

Producer and director

6 x 30' magazine series on crime & the law and a one-hour special called No Place to Hide on surveillance and privacy.


"excellent" Time Out.

The Wash: A Test Case

Producer and director

1 x30' on the future of the Wash.  

The Way we Cooked

Producer and director

3 x 60 on the influence of Britain’s TV Chefs. I produced and directed the first of the episodes (Fanny Craddock and Graham Kerr) and sequences for all three.  


“Unmissable …totally absorbing.” Guardian,

“A series to make room for.” Telegraph

BBC 2002


The origins of the World Wide Web (as in 1999), made with the BBC's Open University Production Unit at Milton Keynes. 

The Week we Went to War

Series producer

5 x 45’ magazine series marking the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII.

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