Uplands Television was founded by the pair in 2017 and specialises in bringing history to life for today’s audiences. Its productions include The Unremembered – Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes; One Thousand Years of Slavery; The Unwanted; and The Battle for Britain’s Heroes and Forgotten Empire.
Olusoga and Smith met when they both worked for the BBC in Salford before setting up their own production company. Uplands is co-sited in Bristol and London.
Caroline Murphy, Head of Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Uplands to the Indie Growth Fund and to support David and Mike on the next phase of Uplands’ development. Bringing history to life and helping audiences understand and appreciate its role in how our world is shaped today is a rare skill and it will be extremely exciting to see Uplands grow in terms of scale and success.”
David Olusoga, Uplands Creative Director said: “It is a critical time in both our world and our industry. The investment from Channel 4 gives us an exciting opportunity to bring eye-opening tv to audiences and for Uplands to deliver on its commitment to be an agent of change.”
Mike Smith, Uplands CEO added: “In Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund we have a partner for the future that shares our vision and ambitions on screen and off as we look to grow and widen our slate.”
David Olusoga, who had a production career before establishing himself as presenter, has credits including the BAFTA-winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, A House Through Time and Black and British – A Forgotten History. He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester, an award-winning and best-selling author and a columnist for The Observer.
Mike Smith has been an executive producer on more than a hundred hours of factual television output for the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky One as well as US and European broadcasters. He previously oversaw the factual output of BBC Religion & Ethics and executive produced a range of its output including the award-winning series Sacred Rivers with Simon Reeves and The Ottomans presented by Rageh Omaar.