I love sharing my passion for palaeontology with the public and regularly appear on TV and Radio, as an expert and occasional presenter or co-host. As a leading scientist in my field, I have a prominent role in effectively communicating science with the public, which has rapidly become an integral part of what it means to be a scientist. After all, in today’s world where fake news and miscommunication run riot, it is vitally important that actual scientists engage with the public, to share their specialist expertise and inspire a wide range of audiences to ultimately understand and appreciate the remarkable world in which we live. Behind the camera, I also work as a consultant for numerous TV programmes and production companies and have written and helped to creatively develop various ideas across a wide variety of platforms.
I’m always happy to chat about palaeontology and related TV projects, either as presenter, talking head, or as consultant/advisor, so drop me a line if you’re interested in working together. Alternatively, please contact Nigel Hetherington at Past Preservers.
Adventures in TV: For a palaeontologist who lives very much in the prehistoric past, I never expected to become so engrossed in the world of TV and Radio. I have now been actively involved with the media for over a decade, featuring in numerous documentaries, talk shows and various news programmes chatting about my research and the field of palaeontology, with special emphasis on dinosaurs, prehistoric life and evolution. Most notably, in 2015, I was the expert co-presenter and series advisor for ITV’s primetime series Dinosaur Britain (also on Amazon Prime), appearing alongside presenter Ellie Harrison. I worked in partnership with Maverick TV in the development of the idea and story, which was based around one of my books, Dinosaurs of the British Isles, and collaborated with Jellyfish Pictures on the CGI reconstructions.
I have appeared as a talking head on numerous programmes, including, BBC Breakfast, BBC Wales, BBC World News, CBBC Newsround, ITV and STV, Sunday Brunch Live, Sky News, Voice of America, and several local BBC TV stations. In 2017, I was selected as a leading palaeontologist and explorer for CNN International's epic series, CNN Inspirations – Wild Discoveries, where I presented my latest research along with recent revelations in palaeontology. During the same year I also pitched and co-hosted a BBC One Show mini documentary called ‘Fake or Fossil’, co-presented with Philip Mould of BBC's 'Fake or Fortune' TV series, and also featured in a special episode of BBC Countryfile with Ellie Harrison. More recently, I was series consultant and on-screen expert for NHK’s (Japan) The Dinosaur Superworld, Curiosity Stream’s Amazing Dinoworld (2019) and was a guest expert on BBC Earth’s mini-series, "Amaze Me" (2021), with Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin. In the same year, I teamed up with Kinder as part of their first-ever Masters of Play Festival, featuring as an expert host alongside Jordan Banjo, 'Draw with Rob' and Dr Elizabeth Kilbey. I am also an Executive Producer and leading on-screen expert for the upcoming dino-documentary, “Why Dinosaurs?” (2021).
I have worked as a consultant for ITV, BBC, NHK, CNN and several production companies, including work with the BBC Bristol Natural History Unit developing an idea that evolved into the documentary "Attenborough and the Sea Dragon" with Sir David Attenborough (2018), as detailed in an article I wrote for The Conversation. In 2017-18, I also worked alongside writer/director Natashia Mattocks as a specialist advisor for a National Film and Television School period drama, called “MARY ANNING”, which was longlisted for the Best Short Film BAFTA. Along the same theme, I worked with award-winning film director and photographer, James Morgan, as the Scientific Advisor for a short feature film about young Mary Anning, called “SEA DRAGON”, which premiered in 2021.
In addition to my work in TV, I have featured on hundreds of radio shows as a guest expert, discussing my own research and commenting on the latest and greatest discoveries in palaeontology. This has included countless interviews on BBC radio stations, such as BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Start the Week, and Saturday Live, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC World Service, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, and many regional stations. I have also appeared as a guest expert on numerous other stations and popular podcasts, including Talk RADIO, Fun Kids Radio, Audible’s A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs, Paleonerds, Fun Kids Science Weekly, and many more. In fact, I was also the narrator for one of my recent books, "Dinosaurs: 10 Things You Should Know", published by Seven Dials, Orion Publishing Group (2021).
My research and work has also been covered extensively through traditional media and popular press, including for National Geographic (such as here and here), New York Times, Scientific American, The Verge, Independent, Guardian, Cosmos, The Conversation, Heat Magazine, Live Science (such as here and here), Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Reuters, IBTimes, Daily Mail, PhysOrg, Yorkshire Life Magazine, IFLScience, BBC, Smithsonian Mag, among others. Working with fellow palaeodude, Jason Sherburn, I also try to co-host the palaeontology podcast, ‘On the FOSSIL Record’. Though not really media, in 2019, I presented a TED talk about my unusual path to a successful career in palaeontology and why being told “stop playing with dinosaurs and get a real job” excelled my passion for palaeontology ever further. You can watch the talk here: My unorthodox path to success: How my passion for the past shaped my future.