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Fothergill at the premiere for Earth, April 2009
|Born||10 April 1960|
Alastair David William Fothergill OBE (born 10 April 1960) is a British producer of nature documentaries for television and cinema. He is the series producer of the series The Blue Planet (2001), Planet Earth (2006) and the co-director of the associated feature films Deep Blue and Earth.
Born in London, Fothergill attended Orley Farm School & Harrow School. He studied zoology at St Cuthbert's Society in the University of Durham and made his first film, On the Okavango, while still a student. Fothergill joined the BBC Natural History Unit in 1983, working on The Really Wild Show, Wildlife on One and David Attenborough's The Trials of Life. He was appointed head of the Unit in 1992, and during his tenure he produced Attenborough's award-winning series Life in the Freezer.
In June 1998, he stood down as head of the Natural History Unit to concentrate on his work as series producer on the multi-award-winning The Blue Planet. In 2006 he completed his next major series Planet Earth.
More recently he was executive producer of Frozen Planet (2011) and The Hunt (2015).
He has also presented several television programmes, including The Abyss and is the author of three books.
He was awarded the "Clean Energy Award" by BMW during the Cinema for Peace award ceremony on 11 February 2008.
In 2008, he signed a multi-picture deal with newly formed Disneynature, and now spends six months each year on sabbatical from the BBC developing feature documentaries as an independent producer. The first few titles under the Disneynature deal had been, for now, African Cats (2011), Chimpanzee (2012), Bears (2014), Penguins (2019), and Dolphin Reef (2019) co-directed with Keith Scholey, Mark Linfield, and Jeff Wilson.
In 2016, Fothergill was made a Fellow of the Royal Television Society for his work in natural history programming. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to film.
Fothergill currently lives in Bristol with his wife Melinda and his two sons, Hamish and William.
Film and television credits
- The Really Wild Show (1986) – producer
- Wild Britain (1987) – producer
- Reefwatch (1988) – associate producer
- Wildlife on One (1988–92) – producer
- The Trials of Life (1990) – assistant producer
- Life in the Freezer (1993) –series producer
- Natural World, episode "South Georgia: An Island All Alone" (1998) – producer
- The Blue Planet (2001) – series producer
- Going Ape (2002) – presenter (with Saba Douglas-Hamilton)
- The Abyss – Live (2002–03) – executive producer and presenter (with Michael deGruy, Kate Humble and Peter Snow)
- Deep Blue (2003) – writer and director (with Andy Byatt)
- Planet Earth (2006) – series producer
- Earth (2007) – writer and director (with Mark Linfield)
- Frozen Planet (2011) – executive producer
- African Cats (2011) – writer and director (with Keith Scholey)
- Chimpanzee (2012) – writer and director (with Mark Linfield)
- Bears (2014) - director (with Keith Scholey)
- The Hunt (2015) – executive producer
- Penguins (2019) – director (with Jeff Wilson)
- Dolphin Reef (2019) - director (with Keith Scholey)
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