Television Roles for University Academics
fewer than four University of Leicester experts have been sought out for stardom
in various television series, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with the
Geologist Dr Sarah Gabbott plays a leading role in all seven episodes of an RDF
Media production for a Channel 4 series on fossils – The
Big Dig, to be shown in summer this year. The
series covers a wide range of palaeontological stories from dinosaur eggs and
sabre toothed cats in the Pyrenées to dinosaurs in the UK.
A pilot show drew an audience of 2 million viewers.
one episode University of Leicester Geology students are featured on the trail
of a giant fish in the Jurassic rocks near Peterborough.
Gabbott, who lectures on the Geology and Geology with Palaeobiology degree
programmes, said: “This has been a
wonderful opportunity to show the public the excitement of discovering fossils,
something that anyone can do if they know where to look.
It also demonstrates how geologists use all sorts of information in a
detective-like way to reconstruct the animal’s past life and environment.”
Professor and Head of the Department of
English, Elaine Treharne has been filming with Wildfire Television, also for a
Channel 4 Series, The Seven Ages of
Britain, as has Dr Simon James, of the School of Archaeology and Ancient
History at the University.
While Dr James worked on the Iron Age
elements of the series and also expects to be involved in the episode on the
Romans, Professor Treharne filmed at West Stow Anglo-Saxon village in Suffolk,
in the great hall, where she discussed what is known about the Anglo-Saxons from
their literary output. She considers
particularly the influence of the Vikings, the types of poems written in Old
English and the understanding we can reach about the Anglo-Saxon mindset.
She is currently working on the next episode which deals with the Norman
|Those with access to the Discovery
Channel will be able to see comedian Eddie Izzard later in the spring presenting
a series for Outline Productions on English identity.
In his own inimitable way he will be filmed speaking to people in Old
English, a skill he owes entirely to Elaine Treharne, who spent three hours
giving him a crash course.
University historian Dr Jo Story filmed
with Tony Robinson for Time Team
in the Anglo-Saxon crypt at Repton in Derbyshire in an episode televised in
November last year. Details
have yet to be finalised, but Dr Story will also be presenting a new six-part
series for Carlton TV called The History
Detectives, which will be screened in the summer.
IN THE PICTURE: Professor Elaine Treharne and Eddie Izzard
These are the latest in a list of
University of Leicester research that has been prominently featured on
television, including the work of Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, the discoverer of
genetic fingerprinting; and the Beagle 2 Mars Lander, parts of which have been
developed in the University’s Space Research Centre in collaboration with the
The nation also had a chance to see the
work of a real criminal profiler when psychology lecturer Dr Julian Boon was
featured in the Channel 4 television series The
Real Cracker. Dr Boon is
one of only twenty experts in the country who work with the police in this way
and the series highlighted some of the cases about which he has been consulted.
The University has also been used as the
set for television and film drama – it provided the setting for the very first
Bollywood film to be made in the East Midlands and earlier was the location for
a teleserial, Shalom Salaam, of mismatched love.
Further information is available from:
Dr Sarah Gabbott, Department of Geology, 0116 252 3636, fax 0116 252 3918, email email@example.com
Professor Elaine Treharne, Department of
English, 0116 252 2636, fax 0116 252 2065 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Simon James, School of Archaeology and
Ancient History, 0116 252 2535, fax 0116 252 5005, email email@example.com
Dr Jo Story, School of Historical
Studies, 0116 252 2761, fax 0116 252 3986, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.