Julian Hector has been appointed as the head of the BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU). 

Hector replaces Wendy Darke, who left in April and has since set up a new indie production company True to Nature. Hector will report to Lisa Opie, BBC Studios’ Director of Factual.

Hector started his natural history career at the NHU producing series like Battle of  the Sexes and  Wild Africa and on radio, Slaves to Nature. As Editor of Natural History Radio he led the development and production of programmes such as Tweet of the Day, World on the Move, Saving Species and Migration.  He went on to become an executive producer in television producing Ivory Wars with Panorama and Tigers About the House.

The NHU has also appointed Oliver Thompson to the expanded role of Head of Business for the NHU.  Currently Head of Production for Factual in Bristol, he has a track record of working with creative teams to deliver a range of content, from digital platforms like BBC Earth, to live events like Big Blue Live and series like Planet Earth 2.

His appointment reflects the fact that the BBC Natural History Unit will be able to pitch and produce shows for rival broadcasters when BBC Studios fully launches as a commercial division in 2017.

Opie said:  “I’m delighted that the world class credibility and heritage of the Natural History Unit is in such strong hands.   Julian brings passion, vision and vast experience to the Unit. Oli will drive the business through this important and challenging transition into the competitive market. Together they’ll make a powerful team.”

Staff Reporter