A third of Britain’s bee species have declined since 1980 – an alarming trend that threatens the collapse of entire ecosystems, and the viability of agriculture which relies on natural pollination.
In this new series commissioned for Channel 4, Jimmy Doherty attempts to show the declines are not inevitable. Focusing on areas around the city of Peterborough, he will attempt – over the course of one year – to measurably increase the number of bees and related insects. He will demonstrate how farmers, businesses and local government can all help to solve the problem. And he will also show viewers of the series how they too can play their part.
Jimmy Doherty has a life-long passion for insects and studied for a PhD in entomology before becoming a farmer and TV presenter. With the help of insect enthusiasts, scientists and Channel 4 viewers, Jimmy will stage incredible experiments and eye-catching events to highlight the ways the vital insect population can be revived across Britain.
Jimmy Doherty comments: “Since I was a kid, bees have declined so much one species has even become extinct. We need to do everything we can to reverse this trend, because they are more vital to our lives than we realise. I’ve been passionate about insects since I studied entomology, and I’d love to get people all across the UK to join my campaign and help Britain’s bees.”
Can Jimmy Save the Bees? (w/t) is a 3 x 60 commission for Channel 4 to TX in 2020. The series is part-funded by Screen Scotland, and is being made by Glasgow-based independent production company Red Sky Productions, with executive producer Ross Harper. It has been commissioned for Channel 4 by Lee McMurray, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment, and Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment.
Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment at Channel 4 comments: “Channel 4 has a long history of programming that sets out to inform, entertain and push for changes to the status quo. We’re proud to be working with Jimmy on this important series.”
Ross Harper, Executive Producer at Red Sky Productions adds: “Without natural pollinators, there wouldn’t be much more than bread, bananas and rice on our supermarket shelves. We’re incredibly excited to be working with Channel 4 and Screen Scotland to try to make a real difference to Britain’s threatened bees. It’s a hugely ambitious and timely project to get as people engaged and involved throughout the UK, as we transform spaces in Peterborough to show what can be done. We think that Whitehall, local government, supermarkets, farmers and each and every one of us can do more - and Jimmy is the ideal champion to lead the way."
About Red Sky Productions
Red Sky Productions was established in Glasgow by former UKtv Director of Commissioning Jane Rogerson and ex-IWC exec Ross Harper in late 2016 to produce popular factual series and formats for network. The company's chairman is former Wall to Wall chief executive Alex Graham. ‘Can Jimmy Save The Bees?’ is Red Sky’s 10th series commission to date.
About Screen Scotland
Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success.