BBC Earth – unplugged


I’d previously visited the hallowed  Beeb – BBC Earth – in Bristol to chat informally with my genius producer pal about two ideas he had for new natural history programmes. Learning a little about the dark art of Beeb’s commissioning process, I made a few comments, suggestions and doodles. I thought nothing of it until I heard that both concepts had been successfully commissioned. A bonus pint or two duly flowed my way.

“We’re great at making content but you’re good at selling.”

Many moons later, at the end of summer 2012, I was delighted to be asked back to discuss the imminent launch of BBC Earth’s first You Tube channel – Earth Unplugged. This visit was rather more involved and no less enjoyable. BBC’s very first endeavour to produce original, short form content for Google’s You Tube generation. It wasn’t obvious at first but this was a rather big deal and a significant learning curve for all concerned.

Initially, an internal positioning exercise lead to a few visuals that helped rally the team – on a broad theme of ‘festival’. From there, I developed a number of key visuals around concepts of diversity, accessible entertainment and a fundamental love for our planet. An instant win was this kaleidoscope concept – immediately conveying diversity, simple amusement and a certain dynamic beauty.

This early render got us off to a good start.


A number of content identities were also required so I soon joined forced with the clever people (including the wonderfully talented but sadly now departed, Phil Webster) at Play Nicely to produce some content and animated stings. Another first for me and a splendid coup for PN.

First draft Sketchasaurus sting:

A complete episode:

Trial outro sequence including nifty Earth Unplugged sting which I still like:


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