Orla Doherty

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Orla Doherty
EmployerBBC Studios Natural History Unit
Notable work
BBC Blue Planet II episodes: The Deep and Our Blue Planet
AwardsVogue's Women Shaping 2018

Orla Doherty is an Irish producer with BBC Studios Natural History Unit. She is known for producing The Deep and co-producing Our Blue Planet episodes for BBC's Blue Planet II.

Early life and career[edit]

Doherty's family comes from Donegal, Ireland.[1] She has a degree in chemistry.[2] She began working in television for DEF II, a part of BBC Two.[3] At 30 she tried scuba diving for the first time during a trip to Thailand, which made her move away at 31 to start studying coral reefs for a non-governmental organization.[3][2][4] She spent most of the next 10 years on a ship studying the reefs in the Pacific Ocean.[3] Upon her return, she began working for BBC's Natural History Unit, and in 2013 she joined the production team of BBC's Blue Planet II.[2] In 2018 she produced the documentary Oceans: Our Blue Planet.[2] That same year, she was named one of Vogue's Women Shaping 2018.[5] In 2019, she became co-executive producer on the documentary series Mission OceanX.[6]

Blue Planet II[edit]

Doherty worked as a producer for Blue Planet II for four years.[3] In total she spent two and a half years filming divided over 17 expeditions.[1] She produced The Deep episode, for which she spent 500 hours in a submarine under water, going as deep as 1000 meters.[2][7] She was one of the first people to go that deep in the Antarctic.[8] She was among the team that filmed a whale fall for the first time in the Atlantic Ocean.[7] She also co-produced the final episode of the series, named Our Blue Planet, which showed the effect of plastics and pollution on the ocean.[7] For this episode, she filmed scientists from all over the world.[9]


  1. ^ a b McLaughlin, Rachel (2017-11-16). "The daring Donegal woman behind jaw-dropping Blue Planet II scenes". Donegal Daily. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lee, Jenny (2019-02-23). "BBC producer Orla Doherty on bringing Blue Planet II – Live to Ireland". The Irish News. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  3. ^ a b c d "One woman and the sea: The Irishwoman behind the breathtaking 'Blue Planet II'". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  4. ^ "Orla Doherty". The Edinburgh International Television Festival. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  5. ^ "The Vogue 25: Meet The Women Shaping 2018". British Vogue. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  6. ^ "BBC - BBC Studios Natural History Unit to make major six-part ocean life documentary series for National Geographic - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  7. ^ a b c "Orla Doherty on science in the sea and Blue Planet 2". www.nhm.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  8. ^ Potenza, Alessandra (2018-01-19). "How Blue Planet II captured never-before-seen views of the ocean". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  9. ^ "BBC - Meet the team - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-12-26.