An Executive Producer with the BBC, Mike Gunton is the first Creative Director of the BBC Natural History Unit, the world’s largest production unit dedicated to wildlife filmmaking. Also Creative Director of Factual, Gunton occupies the dual role of creating new content for the BBC and working with BBC Worldwide to develop new commercial ventures while operating closely with the BBC Earth team.
Gunton is well known as the executive producer of Life, a nature documentary series, which revealed the adaptive survival strategies of animals around the world, and as the co-author of the accompanying book. He co-directed the feature film version, One Life, and the critically acclaimed series Africa. After gaining a first class degree in zoology and a doctorate at Bristol and Cambridge Universities, Gunton joined the BBC in 1983 to work on OU, Science and Children’s programming. He joined the Natural History Unit in 1987 to work on David Attenborough’s Trials of Life. In 1991, he set up an independent television company, Green Umbrella, then re-joined the BBC NHU in 1994 as a series producer. He has been executive producer on a number of BBC1 series including British Isles: a Natural History, Ultimate Killers and a number of films with David Attenborough.
Gunton’s lavish, six-hour documentary series Planet Earth II debuted to great acclaim, after racking up a total of 2,089 shooting days across 40 different counties. The episodes are organized by a focus on region: islands, mountains, jungles, grasslands, deserts and cities. When the series aired in the U.K. late last year, it delivered blockbuster ratings. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Planet Earth II reveals our planet from a completely new perspective, using significant advances in both filming technology and our understanding of the natural world, and featuring an original score by legendary composer Hans Zimmer.