Chris Terrill is a British anthropologist, adventurer, broadcaster, author and filmmaker.
Born in Brighton, Sussex, in 1952, Terrill attended Brighton College 1965–1970, and then went to Durham University, where he gained a joint-honours degree in Geography and Anthropology. Between 1976 and 1977 he lived with the remote Acholi Tribe of Southern Sudan where he carried out doctoral research on the impact of civil war on the tribal society before taking up the post of head of geography at Rendcomb College in Gloucestershire. In 1983, he left teaching to become a full-time professional anthropologist working for the International Disaster Institute and the UN in Geneva and throughout the famine-gripped and war-ravaged areas of Africa. Later he moved into broadcasting, after being offered a job immediately following a feature interview to the BBC African Service. He changed careers and became a producer for the BBC World Service specialising in African affairs. After five years in radio, in which he specialised in current affairs, documentaries and drama, Terrill joined BBC television as a documentary producer, making investigative documentaries and observational films and series about communities all over the world.
As a programme maker, Terrill has always favoured anthropological methodology, particularly participant observation,[note 1] rather than more conventional documentary making techniques. As a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal Geographical Society, Terrill is regarded as a practising anthropologist/geographer who uses film as his primary research tool and recording medium in the field.
He won an Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism for a film called Ape Trade. This Inside Story Special (BBC1) exposed the major gangs smuggling endangered orangutans to illegal markets in Taiwan, the US and Russia.[note 2] Other notable films/series he made for the BBC were Subway, Yellow Line, Race Game, Miami Wild, HMS Brilliant, Alison's Last Mountain, Beloved Country, Soho Stories (see below), The Cruise, Jailbirds, Tito's Story, Through the Eyes of the Old and The Ship. After 20 years at the Corporation, and with over 100 prime time films and numerous awards to his name, he left the corporation in 2003 after being headhunted by Elisabeth Murdoch for her newly set up Shine company. For Shine Terrill made several prime time music and arts films and a major series about the Royal Navy (Shipmates BBC1). Two years later Terrill set up his own company, Uppercut Films, and began to specialise in military and high adventure documentaries[note 3]—though always concentrating on communities/groups and their internal dynamics. In 2007, he documented and participated in the rigorous eight months training with the Royal Marine Commandos after which he followed the newly qualified recruits to the front line in Afghanistan for their first taste of real war. Terrill is the only civilian (and, at 55, the oldest person) to complete and pass all four commando tests for which he was awarded an honorary green beret.[note 4]
Terrill produces his own camerawork and sound recording without a film crew. This "lone wolf" technique is a hallmark of his work. Using the new digital technology, he was the first mainstream filmmaker to experiment as a self-shooting/self-recording director in the mid 1990s when he made Soho Stories for the BBC; a series that won him the Royal Television Society Award for Innovation. This series which explored London's famous and flamboyant Soho district, was one of the first to be dubbed docu-soap in its style of filmmaking. Terrill then went on to refine his techniques on prime time series such as The Cruise (BBC1), Jailbirds (BBC1),[note 5] Through the Eyes of the Old (BBC1), The Ship (BBC2), Shipmates (BBC 1) and two feature documentary specials on Charlotte Church—Spreading Her Wings (BBC1) and Confessions of a Teen-angel (ITV1). Commando: On the Front Line (ITV1)—an account of Royal Marine Commandos fighting in Afghanistan was followed by Nature's Fury (ITV1) a trilogy on the world's greatest storms and their impact on communities.[note 6]
In 2009 Terrill made a series on the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, called Theatreland for Sky Arts. This was an intimate portrait of theatre people at work and featured Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, Ronald Pickup and Anna Friel. In the same year he made a two-part film series about Royal Marines, badly injured in Afghanistan, attempting to climb in the high Himalayas (Wartorn Warriors—Sky1).[note 7] In 2010 he spent six months on HMS Manchester in the Caribbean filming counter narcotics operations as well as humanitarian disaster relief during the hurricane season (Royal Navy: Caribbean Patrol for Channel Five and National Geographic). In 2011 Terrill returned to working with the Royal Marines when he joined 42 Commando in the dangerous Nad e Ali (north) district of Helmand Province. This was for a 6-part series commissioned by Channel Five entitled "Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan" transmitted in January/February 2012.
In late 2011 Terrill embarked on a project that brought together the military and the theatre. The Theatre Royal, Haymarket (where Terrill had filmed Theatreland in 2009) put on a play using injured soldiers and marines as the actors, singers, and dancers. The play, written by the poet Owen Sheers and based on the experiences of the soldiers mostly in Afghanistan, was called The Two Worlds of Charlie F and was performed on 22 January 2012. Terrill's feature-length film entitled Theatre of War, documenting the preparation of the play, was shown on BBC1's Imagine strand and was nominated for a prestigious Grierson Award in the best arts documentary category.
In 2014 Terrill's current affairs film for the BBC: Marine A: Criminal or Casualty of War? won the Evcom Clarion Award for ethics in journalism.
In 2015 Terrill became a Fellow of the Maritime Foundation and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Throughout 2016 and 2017 Terrill was embedded in the ship's company of HMS Queen Elizabeth to make a major series for the BBC about the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, "Britain's Biggest Warship". He returned to HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018 and spent four months at sea to make a second series, "Britain's Biggest Warship: Goes to Sea". This focuses on the marrying of the ship with the F35 Lightning Stealth Fighter off the eastern seaboard of the US.
In January 2018 Terrill was conferred Doctor of Science at the Winter Congregation of Durham University "for pioneering work in anthropology and filmmaking"
Terrill lectures widely on film making techniques – especially on working solo in the field. He holds regular workshops at the London Film School.
In 1999 Terrill was engaged for a brief period to former glamour model Heather Mills. He proposed to her on a fishing boat whilst sailing up the Mekong River in Cambodia, where they were making a film about landmines.
In 2009 Terrill married the BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Christine Hall.
On 9 February 2013 Terrill received a full apology in open court from News UK for repeatedly hacking his phone in 2005/06. They also paid undisclosed but substantial damages plus costs.
Terrill, who describes himself as a 'devout Atheist', is a dedicated animal advocate and activist. He is also an accomplished amateur athlete, specialising in ultra running and boxing.
|1995||HMS Brilliant||BBC Books||The book describes the events that took place on HMS Brilliant, a Royal Navy frigate on front line duty in the Adriatic during the Yugoslavian war as part of Operation Sharp Guard.|
|2005||Shipmates||Century Random House||An exploration of the British Royal Navy's heritage and its role in the modern world.|
|2007||Commando||Century Random House||Chris Terrill's experience of training with the elite Royal Marines Commandos and winning his own green beret before following them to the front line in Afghanistan.|
|2008||Commando (paperback)||Arrow Books Random House||Released as paperback – expanded with updates and epilogue|
|Due autumn 2021||How to Build an Aircraft Carrier||Penguin||HMS Queen Elizabeth. The extraordinary story of the men and women who first breathed life in to Britain's biggest warship.|
|1989||Subway: Inside Story||BBC1||Crime and violence on the London Underground|
|1990||Bullies: 40 Minutes||BBC2||The chronic problem of school bullying|
|1990||The Race Game: Inside Story||BBC1||An investigation into racism in British sport with particular focus on athletics, cricket and football.|
|1990||Fit To Drop: 40 Minutes||BBC2||The extraordinary story of people addicted to exercise.|
|1991||Brief Encounters: 40 Minutes||BBC2||Prostitutes, pimps, punters and the police at Kings Cross Railway Station|
|1992||Ape Trade: Inside Story Special||BBC1/National Geographic||Undercover investigation into international orangutan smuggling from Borneo (Kalimantan) to Taiwan, the former Yugoslavia, Russia, Germany and the USA.|
|1993||Yellow Line: Inside Story||BBC1||The vicious parking wars on the streets of London|
|1993||Miami Wild: 40 Minutes||BBC2||Policing the animal smuggling trade in Florida|
|1994||Seeing Red: Inside Story||BBC1||Union unrest, crime and violence on London's buses|
|1994||The Women Trade: Inside Story Special||BBC1||Undercover investigation into international prostitution and the marketing of women for the sex industry from Eastern Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean (Dominican Republic), South America to Europe (Rotterdam and Amsterdam)|
|1995||Beloved Country (series)||BBC2||6 part series on ordinary South African lives as the country approached full democracy and black rule
1: Township Tango: Crime and political violence meets ballroom dancing in Soweto
2: Black Men Bite: Rugby goes multi racial in the Eastern Province
3: Wild Boer: The white dispossessed of Richard's Bay, Natal
4: The She Chief: The first female chief in Zululand
5: Joseph: Black entrepreneurship in Pretoria (Dir' Dan Reed)
6: Cape Fear: Drugs and gang-life on the Cape Flats, Capetown (Dir' Dan Reed)
|1996||HMS Brilliant (series)||BBC1||6 part series on a Royal Navy warship serving during the Yugoslavian war.
1. A Little Bit of England: Heading out to the war
2. Watchman Nine Zero: On patrol off Serbia
3. Mickey Gets a Massage: Riotous run ashore in Istanbul
4. Gladys Takes the Rapp: Courts Martial at sea
5. Rocking the Boat: Women sailors fight back
6. Homeward Bounders: Heading home
|1996||Alison's Last Mountain: Inside Story Special||BBC1||Journey to K2 with the family of Alison Hargreaves soon after her death on the mountain|
|1997||Soho Stories (series)||BBC 2||12 part series about life in London's famous and flamboyant Soho district
1. Passport to Soho: Introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Soho
2. Icing on the Cake: Quantum physics student Gwen takes up a summer holiday job as a stripper
3. Hot Couture: Mark Powell – tailor to the rich, famous and one or two ne'er do wells
4. Love for Sale: Prostitutes and madams rule the roost
5. Eternal Light: The last synagogue in Soho closes
6. Queen for a day: Gay Pride day and Danny searches his soul and his sexuality
7. Rising Passion: Troy Passion – male stripper extroadinaire goes for broke
8. Fortress West One: Euro 96 comes to Soho – violently and the police are stretched to their limit
9. High Noon: England fans confront German fans in Soho and go 'gay bashing'
10. Heavy French Accent: Michelle celebrates Bastille Day by baring her breasts in public whist Troy Passion tours the south of France
11. Brush with the Law: Mark Powell ends up in Pentonville Prison while Chris paints his portrait in absentia
12. A Fitting End: Mark is released from prison in time for his West End fashion show
|1998||The Cruise (series)||BBC 1||12 part series on board a luxury cruise ship in the Caribbean featuring Jane McDonald
1. Let the Dream Begin: Jane arrives on the Galaxy to start work on the Caribbean cruise.
2. Stranded in Paradise: The ship arrives in Jamaica for Christmas.
3. Scotty to the Rescue: New Year's Eve on the Galaxy.
4. Life's a Beach: Jane and DJ Scotty climb a waterfall.
5. Double or Quits: Following croupiers Dale and Mary in the ship's casino.
6. Stormin' Norman: Passenger and professional gambler Norman has an argument with the ship's casino, while Dale and Mary go jet-skiing.
7. Break a Leg: Lead dancer Philip has a fall. Jane visits a medium in Key West. Dale and Mary go roller-blading to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
8. Dancing with Dolphins: Dancers Jack and Michelle swim with dolphins.
9. Lights, Camera, Action: Dale and Mary go on a rafting trip. Jane gets a makeover. Michele attends a dress rehearsal.
10. First Night Nerves: The ship's new entertainment show opens.
11. Le Grand Buffet: Sean the juggler confronts 300 born-again Christians.
12. Teach Me Tonight: Laura marries Gary at the ship's disco.
|1998||Jane Ties the Knot||BBC 1||Cruise special—Jane gets married on a Caribbean Island.|
|1999||Jane's Cruise to the Stars||BBC 1||Cruise special—Jane's rise to stardom.|
|1999||Jailbirds (series)||BBC 1||10 part series inside Newhall Women's high security prison
1. Through the Gates: A new intake of prisoners arrives at Newhall Prison
2. Inside Out: Toni, a heroin addict, comes to terms with life in jail
3. Doing the Rattle: Toni suffers serious withdrawal and tries to hang herself
4. Sugar and Spice: Melissa arrives and tries to contact her mum
5. Naughty Ladies: Some of the long serving prisoners advise the newcomers about prison life
6. Six months Gone: A new prisoner confides that she is six months pregnant
7. Four Leaf Clover: Ivy, 71 years old, gets to grips with prison and the young generation of girls around her
8. Cutting Up: Star, a long serving prisoner, self harms and needs urgent treatment.
9. Guilt Trip: Melissa's mum and dad come to visit her in prison for the first time
10. If: Ivy organises a poetry club and recites Kipling's 'If' by heart
|2000||Beyond the Bars||BBC 1||Jailbirds special—What happened to the prisoners after release.|
|2000||Tito's Story||BBC 1||Inside Story special on an 11-year-old autistic boy in India who writes beautiful philosophical poetry|
|2000||The Quest||BBC 1||The story of a rock gospel band and their bid for fame|
|2001||Through the Eyes of the Old||BBC 1||90-minute feature on being old|
|2001||Through the Eyes of the Young||BBC 1||90-minute feature on being young|
|2002||The Ship (series)||BBC 2/History Channel||6 part adventure series sailing the Endeavour in the wake of Captain Cook from Australia to Indonesia|
|2003||Shayler's Secrets||BBC 2||Following the rogue spy David Shayler through his fateful trial at the Old Bailey|
|2004||Charlotte Church—Spreading Her Wings||BBC 1||A year in the life of the young diva as she approaches her 18th birthday|
|2004||The Making of Sheila Quigley||BBC 1||The extraordinary story of a first time novelist|
|2004||Debra Winger in Africa||Charity film/Sightsavers International||Film for Sightsavers International about Debra Winger visiting Kenya to highlight the plight of the blind|
|2004||The 24 Hour Plays||Charity film/New Voices||Film for the Old Vic New Voices programme about a unique theatrical experiment|
|2005||Charlotte Church—Confessions of a Teen Angel||ITV1||Charlotte attempting to break into the rock world|
|2004–2005||Shipmates (series)||BBC 1||A major 5 part series about the Royal Navy on operations.
2. After the Wave: HMS Chatham leaves for the Gulf but ends up in Sri Lanka after the boxing day tsunami destroys most of the east coast
3. Heads Up, Chests Out, Be Proud: The Devonport team prepare for the Field Gun Championships
4. Raising the Dead: Exorcists are called in to Devonport dockyard whilst HMS Chatham calls in to Alexandria to bury some of Nelson's sailors killed in the Battle of the Nile but only recently discovered
5. Theatre of War: Warships and Fleet Air Arm planes gather for a massive military exercise in the English Channel
|2006||Debra Winger in India||Charity film/Sightsavers International||A film for Sightsavers International about Debra Winger visiting India to highlight the plight of the blind|
|2006||The Sultan and the Elephant||BBC Four||The heart-warming story of a giant elephant's visit to the streets of London and the enchantment he brought with him.|
|2006||Extreme Theatre||Sky TV||A one-hour special on a unique theatrical experiment at the Old Vic featuring Kevin Spacey|
|2007||Commando: On the Front Line (series)||ITV1||8 part series on the training of Royal Marines Commandos for active service on the front line in Afghanistan
1. The Shock of Capture: New recruits (924 Troop) arrive at the Commando Training Base at Lympstone
2. Carrot and Stick: 924 Troop are 'encouraged' to train to the limit of their physical and mental energies
3. The Lost Patrol: 924 Troop get lost on Dartmoor
4. Tears and Fears: Several recruits fall by the wayside and have to leave Lympstone
5. Enemy Contact: Young officers arrive in Afghanistan and go straight to the front line
6. Operation Sparrowhawk: A major operation to confront the Taliban head on
7. Assault at Dawn: A daring assault on an enemy stronghold.
8. Royal Marines – To Your duties!: The recruits from 924 Trop pass out and head for Afghanistan
|2007||The 55 Year Old Commando||ITV1 and 4||The story of Chris Terrill's attempt to win the iconic green beret of the Royal Marines Commando (directed by Malcolm Donkin)|
|2007||Commando: On the Front Line (Director's cut) (series)||ITV4||8 part series as above—one hour versions|
|2007||The Parish Church of England—St Martin-in-the-Fields (series)||Five||3-part series on a year in the life of this iconic church in Trafalgar Square
1. The Pilgrimage: The annual pilgrimage from St Martin-in-the-Fields to Canterbury Cathedral
2. Christmas Spirit: Looking after the homeless of the West End on Christmas Day
3. Renewal: Rebuilding the church and excavating the grounds to discover an ancient burial site plus hosting gay pride
|2007||Go Commando!||ITV4||Two Royal Marines row the Atlantic Ocean|
|2008||Nature's Fury (series)||ITV1||3 part series on the world's most destructive storms and their impact on communities
1. Tornado: Expedition through America's Tornado Alley from Texas to Nebraska and from Kansas to Mississippi in search of Super Storms and killer tornados
2. Hurricane: Following Hurricane Ike's destructive track across the Caribbean and the southern states of the US and then waiting for him to strike in Galveston, Texas
3. Firestorm: Tackling the wild fires in southern California with a crack fire fighting team made up entirely of hard core criminals
|2009||Theatreland (series)||Sky Arts||8 part series behind the scenes at the famous Theatre Royal, Haymarket featuring Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Ronald Pickup, Simon Callow and Anna Friel.
1. Bringing the House Down: First glimpse behind the scenes at the Haymarket as rehearsals start for Waiting For Godot
2. OK, Now Entertain Us!: The backstage crew start to build the set as rehearsals ramp up
3. Flushed with Success: Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart prepare for their first night – meanwhile the theatre toilets need re grouting!
4. Is there a Spectre in the House?: Patrick Stewart sees a ghost on stage
5. Waiting in the Wings: Patrick Stewart falls ill. With only one rehearsal the understudy must go on
6. Goodbye Godot: The last night of a three-month run and Ian McKellen becomes emotional
7. Blond or Brunette: Anna Friel rehearses for Breakfast at Tiffany's but can't decide what colour her hair should be
8. Blood, Sweat and Magic: The end of a smash hit season at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket
|2010||War Torn Warriors (series)||Sky 1||Two 60 minute films about badly injured Royal Marines trekking and climbing in the high Himalayas
1. Fighting Back: An expedition comprising fifty badly injured Royal Marines and sailors sets off for the high Himalayas and Everest base camp
2. A Mountain to Climb: A hardy group of war wounded marines attempt to summit Labouche East – a towering 6,000 metre peak adjacent to Everest
|2011||Royal Navy: Caribbean Patrol (series)||Five/National Geographic||5 part series about the Royal Navy tracking down cocaine smugglers and providing humanitarian relief after hurricane strikes in the Caribbean.
1. Bad Guys Dead Ahead: HMS Manchester heads out to the Caribbean for a six month deployment in pursuit of cocaine smugglers
2. Old Lady of the Seas: The ageing destroyer struggles with machinery and engine breakdowns
3. In the Dead of Night: Cocaine smugglers are tracked and intercepted near the coast of Colombia
4. High Winds and Savage Seas: The hurricane season draws close and HMS Manchester braces herself for the full impact
5. Mission of Mercy: HMS Manchester moves fast to bring urgent help to the island of St Lucia smashed by a deadly hurricane
|2011||Nature's Fury—Monsoon||ITV4||Facing up to the extremes of the Indian monsoon from Mumbai to Rajasthan and from Delhi to Kolkota.|
|2012||Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan (series)||Five||6 part series on the Royal Marines of 42 Commando working in the Nad e Ali North district of Helmand Province known at the time as "the most dangerous square mile in the world"
1. Deadly Underfoot: Lima Company, 42 Commando arrives at Toki patrol base in the heart of Taliban country
2. Venus Fly Trap: A Lima Company patrol sets a deadly ambush for the insurgents
3. Dogs of War: Memphis the bomb sniffing spaniel arrives on the front line with Mick – his RAF handler
4. Kill or Capture: Taff – a tough sergeant from the Valleys – leads his patrol across enemy territory
5. Brothers in Arms: The injured commandos return home to their loved ones
6. The Final Reckoning: Taking stock of what Lima company achieved in their long and bloody tour of duty?
|2012||Theatre of War||BBC1||Theatre presents War in a unique and remarkable way for a feature-length Imagine Special|
|2013||Battle Scarred (series)||Five||4 part series on the problems faced by ex-servicemen when returning to civilian life.
1. Nightmare on Civvy Street: Facing up to the transition of returning to civilian life
2. Soldiers Behind Bars: Ex military personnel ending up in the criminal justice system
3. Soldiering On: Dealing with Post Trauma Stress Disorder
4. The Final Reckoning: Confronting grief and facing up to the loss of comrades
|2013||Living on the Edge – Blood in the Snow (series)||Five||Following the great reindeer migration across northern Norway with the Sami nomads – the oldest living culture in Europe|
|2013||Living on the Edge – Blood in the Sand (series)||Five||A journey across the drought belt of Africa from Mali to northern Kenya and into war ravaged Somalia|
|2014||Living on the Edge – Blood in the Sea (series)||Five||Fishing with the Senegalese and Mauritanian fishermen in the dangerous waters off the west coast of Africa.|
|2014||Marine 'A': Criminal or Casualty of War?||BBC1||A personal exploration into the ethical and moral issues of a battle field execution.|
|2014||Commando: Return to the Front Line||ITV1||A one-hour special updating the story of Commando: On the Front Line. The film follows Bertie Kerr back to Afghanistan to assess the legacy of a war that cost over 450 British lives.|
|2014||The Commando Who Refused to Die||Forces TV||The moving and inspiring story of Corporal Paul Vice MC who suffered horrific life changing injuries after being blown up in Afghanistan but who then reinvented his life in the most extraordinary way.|
|2015||Return to the Jungle||Forces TV||Veterans from the Parachute Regiment return to Borneo for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Plaman Mapu. In 1965 36 Paras held out against 400 troops of the Indonesian special forces in a desperate battle described as "a latter day Rorke's Drift".|
|2015||Royal Marine WAGs and The Great Yomp||Forces TV||Royal Marines wives and girlfriends – The Bootneckettes – attempt the Great Yomp: 104 miles over the South Downs Way in 36 hours non stop! Giant blisters are the least of their problems.|
|2016–2018||Britain's Biggest Warship (series)||BBC2/Smithsonian Channel USA||3-part series. The epic story of HMS Queen Elizabeth – the biggest warship ever built for the Royal Navy. From first day of build to maiden voyage this will be the story of a state of the art warship, the people who built her, the people who will sail her and also the people who will fly off her.
1. Crewing Up: Preparing HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea is more of a challenge than expected
2. In at the Deep end: Gruelling sea trials push ship and crew to their limits
3. Out With The Old and In With The New: The final stages of sea trials breaks the heart of Bob Hawkins
|2018||Rise of the Supercarrier||Smithsonian Channel USA||3 part series. US reversion of Britain's Biggest Warship for American broadcast.
1. Birth of a Giant: Construction and preparation for sea trials
2. Do or Die: Six weeks on the high seas
3. Trials at Sea: Heading home
|2017–2018||To Hell and Back||Forces TV||The story of an heroic attempt by eight Royal Marines to break the world speed marching record – a full marathon running as a troop in full fighting order, wearing combat boots and carrying 40lbs rucksack plus weapon. A moving tale of determination, courage and comradeship.|
|2017||Marine A: The Inside Story (Panorama)||BBC1||A Panorama Special on the Marine A murder case|
|2017–2018||Wildlife Warriors||Forces TV||Former British soldiers confront the rhino poachers in South Africa|
|2018–2019||Britain's Biggest Warship Goes to Sea (series 2)||BBC2/Smithsonian Channel USA||The ongoing story of HMS Queen Elizabeth
1. Let Go All Lines: First trans Atlantic voyage
2. Don't Feed the Birds: F35B Stealth Fighter lands on the flight deck for the first time
3. Manhattan Ahoy: Spectacular visit to the Big Apple
|2019–2021||Children of the Mountains||BBC/Universal||Feature documentary on Tom and Kate Ballard – mountaineering siblings extraordinaire. (in production)|
|2021-2022||Strike Force||BBC2||Feature 6 part series on HMS Queen Elizabeth's first operational deployment leading a task force to one of the world's hotspots (in production)|
Honours, awards and nominations
|2007||Honorary Royal Marines Commando||Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines||For close association with the Corps and in recognition of being only civilian and oldest person to win a green beret on merit|
|2015||Maritime Fellowship (see below)||Maritime Foundation||Lifetime achievement|
|2018||Honorary Doctorate of Science||Durham University||Pioneering work in anthropology and filmmaking|
|1992||Emmy||Ape Trade.||BBC/National Geographic||Outstanding Investigative Journalism|
|1996||Broadcast Award||HMS Brilliant||BBC1||Best producer/director|
|1997||Royal Television Society Award||Soho Stories||BBC2||Innovation|
|2003||Emma (Ethnic and Multicultural Media Award)||Tito's Story||BBC1||Best Documentary|
|2014||Clarion Award (for ethical journalism)||Marine A: Criminal or Casualty of War?||BBC1||Best Current Affairs Documentary|
|2015||The Maritime Fellowship Award (Special Distinction)||A twenty year body of work relating to maritime issues associated with the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines||TV (all channels), radio and the written word.||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2020||Maritime Media Donald Gosling Award||Britain's Biggest Warship Goes to Sea||BBC2||Best Film or TV Production|
|1997||BAFTA (Craft Awards)||Soho Stories||BBC2||Best Sound|
|1998||National TV Awards||The Cruise||BBC1||Best Factual Entertainment Series|
|2002||BAFTA||Through the Eyes of the Old||BBC1||Best Single Documentary|
|2002||Grierson||Through the Eyes of the Old||BBC1||Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme|
|2003||Emmy||The Ship||BBC2/History Channel||Cinematography|
|2003||Education on TV Awards||The Ship||BBC2/History Channel||Best History Documentary Series *Highly recommended|
|2004||Maritime Media Awards||Shipmates||BBC1||Best Documentary Series|
|2010||Mental Health Awards||War Torn Warriors||Sky 1||Best Documentary|
|2011||Maritime Media Awards||Royal Navy: Caribbean Patrol||Channel Five||Best Documentary Series|
|2013||Grierson||Theatre of War||BBC 1||Best Arts Documentary|
|2015||Maritime Media Awards||Blood in the Sea||Channel Five||Best Documentary Film|
|2018||Maritime Media Awards||Britain's Biggest warship||BBC 2||Best Documentary Film|
Public Service Interests
|Help Our Wounded||In support of wounded, injured and sick Royal Marines||2008 – present||Patron|
|Forward Assist||Helping ex soldiers back on their feet||2009 – present||Patron|
|Royal Marine Trust Fund||Support for marines and former marines in need||2010 – present||Ambassador|
|Orlando Rogers Foundation||Support for underprivileged young people to pursue adventure||2010 – present||Trustee|
|Veterans for Wildlife||Supporting former military personnel in the protection of endangered species||2015 – present||volunteer filmmaker|
|Commando 999||In support of Royal Marines charities||2015–2017||Trustee|
|Bravo 22||Theatre as rehabilitation for injured military personnel||2010 – present||volunteer filmmaker|
|Old Vic New Voices||Helping to find and promote new, young theatrical talent from the community||2002–2012||volunteer filmmaker|
- Participant observation—a type of research strategy. It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly, cultural anthropology, but also sociology, communication studies, and social psychology. Its aim is to gain a close and intimate familiarity with a given group of individuals (such as a religious, occupational, or sub cultural group, or a particular community) and their practices through an intensive involvement with people in their natural environment, usually over an extended period of time.
- To achieve this Terrill went undercover as a wildlife smuggler in Jakarta, Singapore and Miami. In a later film called Women Trade, that exposed criminal gangs trading in women from the developing world for the sex market in Europe, Terrill posed as a woman trader in the Dominican Republic as well as in Denmark and Belgium.
- Uppercut also has a small but vibrant arts department which specialises in theatre based films due to Terrill's passion for live theatre: "When you have your own film company you can choose what films you want to make—it is like having a massive toybox full of all your favourite toys. And you can keep getting new ones." (Terrill, Sept 2008 when asked why he chose to make Theatreland at the same time as working with the Royal Marines.)
- The DJ Jimmy Savile was a previous recipient of an honorary green beret although he did not attempt all four commando tests. After his death, following allegations of sexual misconduct, he was posthumously stripped of his honorary green beret. Gethin Jones attempted the last of the tests, the 30-mile run across Dartmoor but finished in a time of 8 hours 20 minutes – 20 minutes over the pass time of 8 hours
- For this series Terrill spent eight months in prison.
- Terrill has established a reputation as the thinking man's adventurer. His quests invariably lead him to the world's hotspots and his focus is usually on the victims of war, poverty or natural hazards, His approach is analytical and searching and his films are not typical "made for TV" adventure. The Radio Times published one article about Terrill's work which was titled rather provocatively: Meet the Explorer who Makes Bear Grylls Look Like Barbie
- This series was shortlisted for the 2010 Mind Mental Health Media Awards and one of the films' main contributors, Marine Danny Claricoates, received 'The Speaking Out Award' for his courage in talking so openly about his own Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after seeing his two best friends blown up and killed in front of him.
- The Creation of the Acholi Minority, Their Dispersal as Refugees and Their Repatriation (1956–1972), Durham University Geography Department: 1978.
- "The Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa". Disasters. Vol 8, issue 4, December 1984.
- "Rural Refugees in Africa: Past Experience, Future Pointers". R Chambers. Disasters. Vol 6, issue 1, March 1982.
- Anthropologist About Town (Royal Anthropological Institute): Going Commando. 20 September 2007
- Commando. Chris Terrill, Random House, 2007.
- International Primate Protection League, Vol. 18, No. 2, Aug 1991: BBC Exposes Ape Trade
- The National Archives, Defence|News, 14 December 2007: The Hardest Embed: Going Native with the Royal Marines
- Manchester Evening News, Ian Wylie, 17 September 2007, Chris—Right in the Line of Fire
- New Documentary: A Critical Introduction. Stella Bruzzi. Pgs, 79,122,123,129,132.
- New Challenges for Documentary. Alan Rosenthal, John Corner.
- Understanding Reality'Television Su Holmes, Deborah Jermyn. Pge 295.
- Frames and Fictions on Television: The Politics of Identity Within. Bruce Carson, Margaret Llewellyn Jones.
- Independent. A Docusoap Worthy of the Hard Cell. Brian Viner, 21 March 1999
- How I Captured the Perfect Storm. Broadcast. 5 June 2009
- "Surviving the Arctic and the desert: Meet the explorer who makes Bear Grylls look like Barbie". Radio Times.