2 August 1950 |
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK
|Alma mater||University of Lancaster University of Sussex University of London|
|Genre||History, adventure, mystery, military|
Tran World Sport
Royal Television Society
British Independent Film
|Children||Adam, Charlie, Jack|
Binns was born in Lancaster and brought up in Burnley, Lancashire by his single mother. A lifelong lover of sport, Binns became a fan of Burnley Football Club at a young age – walking past the ground everyday on his way to school.
After failing his 11-plus examination he went to St Theodore's Secondary Modern School and then on to Burnley Municipal College for his A-levels. From here Binns went on to study a BA in Politics & Modern History at the University of Lancaster and then an MA in International Relations at the University of Sussex. He also holds an MSc in Sociology of Education from the University of London.
Binns history television credits include the 'In-Colour' genre of programmes – notably the BAFTA and Grierson winner, Britain at War in Colour, and the Peabody winner, The Second World War in Colour.
His other historical work includes Chasing Churchill: In Search of My Grandfather broadcast on PBS, in which Celia Sandys, Winston Churchill's granddaughter travels the world, including the United States, France, Morocco and South Africa, in search of her grandfather's legacy.
Most recently Binns' television productions have involved a shift of perspective towards the Orient. Indochine: A People's War in Colour (2009) tells the story of the people of Indochina and their battle to gain their freedom over three decades and through three wars. This was followed by Korea: The Forgotten War in Colour (2010) the story of the 1950–53 Korean War. Then came, Seisen: the Rise and Fall of the Japanese Empire (2012) – a history of Japan's militaristic ambitions during the first half of the 20th century, including their role in World War II. His latest production, India: A Visual Homage, a history of India from 1900 to 1985, will be aired in 2014.
Binns has also produced a number of sporting programmes and projects. He launched the successful and still-running Trans World Sport in 1987. In 1993 he launched, and was the first Executive Producer of, FIFA Futbol Mundial one of the longest running football-based magazine shows still on the air.
Next he instituted the Olympic Games Camera of Record in 1994 – with a single camera crew and access to all areas, Binns captured the magic and atmosphere of the Games in a personal, behind-the-scenes style at each Games, from Lillehammer (1994) to Athens (2004). Throughout the 1990s Binns produced a number of other Olympic documentaries, including "Olympic Century" (1994), the IOC's official centennial history, and The Olympic Series (1998).
Binns also launched, and ran for 10 years, the Olympic Television Archive Bureau. An organisation that was instrumental in retrieving and restoring all the official films of the Olympic Games right back to the 1936 Berlin Games.
Away from the Olympics, Binns also produced the official biographical documentary of Tiger Woods, Tiger (2003), the official history of the Wimbledon Championships Wimbledon (2001) and FIFA's official history of football, The People's Game (1989).
Binns has written four historical novels, which make up the Making of England quartet. His first novel, Conquest – based on the events surrounding the Norman invasion of England in 1066 – was published by Penguin Books in 2011. It was soon followed by Crusade (released in April 2012), focussing on the Norman rule of England after 1066 and the first Christian Crusade to the Holy Land. Next came Anarchy (released in June 2013), which tells the story of England's first civil war between Stephen and Matilda. The quartet was completed with his latest novel Lionheart (released in November 2013), about the adventures of Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade.
He is currently working on the first book in his upcoming series of novels based on the tragic events of the Great War – to be released in June 2014.
Binns' non-fiction writing credits include: The Greatest: Who is Britain’s Top Sports Star? (1996) published by Boxtree Ltd in conjunction with Channel 4; The Second World War in Colour (1999) published by Pavilion Books; Britain at War in Colour (2000) published by Carlton Books; America at War in Colour (2001) published by Carlton Books; and British Empire in Colour (2002) published by Carlton Books.
A lifelong supporter of Burnley Football Club, Binns saw his first game in 1957, watching them play the 'Busby Babes' at Turf Moor. He had the pleasure of seeing Burnley's greatest ever player, Jimmy McIlroy in his prime and saw them win the 1959/60 League Title, their 1962 FA Cup Final against Spurs and their run in the 1960/61 European Cup. He has made all of the Club's historical videos, including 'A Rhapsody in Claret and Blue', the club's official history, and When We Were Kings, the story of the great Burnley team of the 70s.
Binns is currently Chief Executive and co-founder with his wife, Lucy, of the independent production company Big Ape Media International.
His home is in Winsham, Somerset, where he lives with Lucy and twin boys, Charlie and Jack.
Making of England quartet
- Lionheart (2013)
- Anarchy (2013)
- Crusade (2012)
- Conquest (2011)
- British Empire in Colour (2002)
- America at War in Colour (2001)
- Britain at War in Colour (2000)
- The Second World War in Colour (1999)
- The Greatest: Who is Britain’s Top Sports Star? (1996)
- Sport Under Threat (2012)
- Seisen: the Rise and Fall of the Japanese Empire (2012)
- Korea: The Forgotten War in Colour (2010)
- Indochine: A People's War in Colour (2009)
- Phil Daniels’ Football Matchday Madness (2008)
- Catalyst for Change (2007)
- Inside the Lions’ Den (2006)
- What Price Fame (2006)
- The Football League Show (2005)
- Golazo (2005)
- Chasing Churchill: In Search of My Grandfather (2005)
- Tiger: The Authorised Biography (2004)
- Japan’s War (2003)
- Churchill (2003)
- The British Empire in Colour (2002)
- The Queen Mother: Her Reign in Colour 1937–1953 (2001)
- Apollo (2002)
- Britain at War in Colour (2001)
- The Second World War in Colour (2000)
- Inventions (1999)
- Fabulous Fortunes (1998)
- The Olympic Series (1998)
- Century (1997)
- McCormack – A Journey through Contemporary Sport (1996)
- Mountain Airs (1995)
- Olympic Century (1994)
- Futbol Mundial (1993)
- Guardians of the Flame (1992)
- Blood, Sweat and Glory (1991)
- Fangio (1991)
- The People's Game (1991)
- Simon Combes: An African Experience (1989)
- Artworld (1989)
- Trans World Sport (1987)