about michael

In January 1971 Michael was appointed producer with the BBC Science Unit, Radio, at Broadcasting House in Central London. Working initially with journalist and presenter Paul Vaughan on the live weekly science magazine New Worlds, he went on to establish new science radio programmes, talks, discussions and series, such as Science Now (R4) with Peter Evans, Scientifically Speaking (R3) with Sir John Maddox, Medicine Now (R4) with Geoff Watts, and Where are you taking us? (R4) with Brian J. Ford. His radio documentary Heart Attack, presented by Brian, was nominated as the BBC's entry for the Prix Italia, and the nature-versus-nurture debate XX+XY=IQ (R4)attracted widespread critical acclaim.

Leaving science for a short while, Michael was one of the team that set up and established the live nightly arts programme Kaleidoscope (R4), and for one season he produced the long-running in-depth current affairs series Analysis (R4). While at Broadcasting House, he pioneered programmes recorded in binaural stereo and surround sound, and he represented the BBC as a fellow of the Salzburg Seminar for American Studies.

Joining BBC-TV's Science and Feature Department at Television Centre in West London, Michael worked for a season on Tomorrow's World and Horizon, before heading to Bristol and a return to radio, where he became Editor, Natural History Unit (NHU), Radio, overseeing the long-running and much-loved Living Worlds and Wildlife with Derek Jones, and establishing The Natural History Programme, with Fergus Keeling and Lionel Kelleway, as a new Radio Four strand. Michael also pioneered natural history radio features, such as To Fly Where the Sun Never Sets and The Doomsday Oak, working with actors Carol Drinkwater, Andrew Sachs, and Jack Watson, and produced a major 26-part radio documentary series Animal Language, presented by Sir David Attenborough. His radio documentary Men, Nations and Whales: will the bloody story ever end, written by David Helton, was awarded a prestigious Prix Italia.

Moving to wildlife television, Michael was co-series producer on the BBC-2 conservation strand Nature, presented by Tony Soper, and produced or executive produced episodes of Wildlife on One and Natural World, working with narrators such as John Nettles, Andrew Sachs, John Simm and John Shrapnel, before setting up and leading the NHU's commercial arm Wildvision alongside BBC Worldwide in London and BBC Worldwide Americas in New York, with productions, such as Killing for a Living narrated by Anthony Hopkins and Eyewitness with Martin Sheen. He was later appointed Director of Development at the NHU, before returning to production as series producer of the international award-winning Wild Battlefields series, with Sanjeev Bhaskar, and series producer of the British Isles: A Natural History with Alan Titchmarsh. After retiring from the BBC, he returned to work for a short while at the NHU with Alan on The Nature of Britain, and with Mike deGruy on Perfect Shark, a complex virtual studio-based production, designed by Peter Bailey, for BBC-1 and Discovery Channel's Shark Week.

Alongside the radio and film work, Michael has written extensively articles for the likes of BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus, New Scientist, World Medicine and Nikon Owners Magazine, and has had published over 100 books, for BBC Books, Reader's Digest, Dorling Kindersley, National Geographic, Raintree, Quarto, Franklin Watts, Anness, Natural History Museum, Smithsonian, Bantam Press, Robson Books, JR Books and the Robson Press, including several TV-tie-ins, such as Wild Caribbean (BBC) and Andes to Amazon (BBC), and Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown (Quercus). He has 'ghosted' several books, and under his own name written two fictional stories based on fact: The Pride and Whale Odyssey (JR books).

Michael was born in the naval port of Plymouth in the English county of Devon, and after a spell in London, now lives in Bristol. He is a graduate of the University of London, a Chartered biologist and Member of the Society of Biology.