National Geographic

Wildstar shines a light on the queens of the jungle

A bonobo in the Congo jungle

“None of us could believe it hadn’t been done before,” recalled Chloe Sarosh, discussing Wildstar Films’ natural history series about female-led societies. As the series producer and writer of Queens, she was there from the start.

Five years, 12 countries and more than 1,700 days in the field later, seven engrossing episodes have come to National Geographic and Disney+.

Factual commissioners share what they're looking for

It’s quite a shopping list, but it’s a flavour of what broadcasters are looking for in factual programming, a panel of commissioners told an audience at an RTS East event in Cambridge last month. 

Louisa Compton’s investigations unit at Channel 4 needed no more introduction than a brief clip of her recent Dispatches film on Russell Brand, but she stressed that, as well as seeking high-level, impactful investigations, she is looking for subjects to get people talking, such as Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Me

Working Lives: Natural History film-maker

What does the job involve?

It runs all the way from the first spark of an idea, through to developing that idea, bringing in funding, to shooting the programme. I spend more time overseeing projects now, but I still get out of the office – I spent six weeks in Africa filming two shark shows for Discovery and National Geographic at the end of last year, which was a lot of fun.

What was your route into natural history filming?

National Geographic explores new frontiers in scripted shows

Racy, raunchy and risky are three words not usually associated with National Geographic. But the brand’s first foray into high-end scripted television, the 10-part Genius about the life and times of Albert Einstein, gives viewers an eyeful in its very first episode.

“Monogamy is not natural, it is a construct of religious authority,” theorises Geoffrey Rush playing the married physicist, as he pleasures a lover, pants around his ankles, pressed up against a blackboard covered in equations.

This week's Top TV: 12 - 18 September

Hooten and the Lady confront hair-raising obstacles as they travel the globe in search of hidden treasures (Credit: Sky)


Celebrity Home Secrets

ITV, 8pm

Janet Street Porter (Credit: ITV)

In this show, famous faces revisit their former homes to share memories and secrets from when they lived there.

This week we get an insight into the colourful life of Janet Street Porter as we look back at her various homes, including the ‘castle’ she built in the middle of London.

Crowdfunding: the future of television?

The Crystal Maze

Sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow fundraisers to outline their plans, offering investors benefits such as signed merchandise and exclusive events in accordance with the size of their donation, rather than a financial return.

Nineties game show The Crystal Maze hit headlines earlier this month when its creators launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise £500,000 to bring the show back as a live immersive experience.