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Wingspan to produce episodes of BBC flagship science strand Horizon

The BBC today announced that Horizon, its flagship science strand, will be produced by BBC Studios, Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films, all of whom have secured bundles of films following a competitive process which opened up the strand to pitches from all producers.

BBC Studios have secured 16 films over the next 2 years, with Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films producing 3 films each. In addition, the BBC has also placed a number of single films into development with a range of independent producers, enriching further the editorial mix and supply base of the strand.

Horizon will continue to deliver across the entire spectrum of science, offering films on subjects like engineering, technology, medicine, geology, physics, human biology, chemistry, the solar system, psychology and mental health. Horizon will feature a range of films from presenter-led authored films and access driven documentaries to innovative factual theatre pieces and hybrid factual dramas - bringing the very latest science stories to the audience from both the UK and around the world. 

BBC Studios' Science Unit is a world-class producer of science programming, with an exceptional range of award-winning credits including Forces of Nature, Stargazing Live and Trust Me I'm a Doctor.

Wingspan Productions’ impressive science credits include The Joy of Data, The Joy of Stats and Tails You Win: The Science of Chance for BBC Four and Computer Says Show for Sky.  It is best known for its original specialist factual projects ranging from the multi-award winning Our Gay Wedding - The Musical for Channel 4 to Ian Hislop’s upcoming documentary about immigration, Who Should We Let In? 

Windfall Films, part of Argonon Group, is one of the leading producers of science and technology programmes in the UK - most recently the hugely successful The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway for BBC Two. The multi-award winning company produced the critically-acclaimed Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb and Inside Einstein's Mind for the BBC and Inside Nature's Giants for Channel 4.

As part of the new Charter agreement, the Government asked the BBC to put all existing BBC Studios network television programming out to competition over the next 11 years, except where there is a value for money case not to. The BBC invited pitches for the Horizon films from all producers, including BBC Studios, and the evaluation panel made the decisions against criteria openly shared with all suppliers who were eligible to pitch.

Through this invitation to pitch process, the BBC is strengthening science specialism in the production sector, as well securing value for money in delivering the best quality programme for viewers, at the best price.

Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual says: "BBC Studios, Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films are three of the best Science suppliers currently operating in the UK. Their ideas are original, exciting and bold. We look forward to working with them and other suppliers over the next two years to build on Horizon's reputation for the cutting edge, and would like to thank all producers who submitted proposals into what has been an extremely competitive process."

Craig Hunter, Commissioning Editor, Science says: "Horizon is the place to deliver the best science journalism in the world and it's the place to experiment with a range of different story telling techniques and form. This is an exciting chapter in Horizon's story and I'm thrilled to be working with these suppliers to create a science strand of the most creative ideas, delivering scientific revelation and impact."