WINGSPAN is dedicated to rigorous journalism, sharp, engaging story-telling and intelligent, accessible treatment of a diverse range of subject matter.
Founded by Archie Baron in 2008, WINGSPAN delivers across the genres to all the major UK broadcasters and many international partners. Our projects tend to be innovative and ambitious, as well as highly entertaining, and have been recognised with Grierson, RTS, Broadcast, AFO, Sandford St Martin, Prix Italia and Rose D’Or awards as well as BAFTA nominations. The company is proud of our reputation as one of the best places to work in factual television, attracting award-winning producer/directors to work here time and again.
WINGSPAN’s wingspan is enjoyably broad, and some of our most ambitious projects have been so bold and bonkers they defy categorisation. In 2014, Our Gay Wedding – the Musical for Channel 4 won numerous awards, including the Grierson for Best Entertaining Documentary, cited as “a bold concept, perfectly executed. It has amazing confidence from the get-go, and stands apart as a unique, important, moving and joyous piece of television”. In 2016 we staged our first West End Musical, Beyond the Fence, the first complete show ever to be written by computer. This was the culmination of an extraordinary meeting of science and art in an ambitious experiment that asked: can human creativity be coded? The story of the experiment was told in two documentaries for Sky Arts, Computer Says Show. And in 2021 Wingspan’s Dancing on Thin Ice with Torvill & Dean for ITV combined travelogue, skating and a really serious message about climate change!
In Science, most recently we’ve made films for the BBC’s flagship Horizon strand, about Britain’s Opioid crisis, and on how AI is revolutionising healthcare. Our award-winning series of Joy films are mind-expanding roller-coaster rides into complex topics ranging from Chance, Logic and Data to Game Theory and A.I., tackling philosophy, maths, science and technology with playful and witty exuberance. (The first in the series, The Joy of Stats with Hans Rosling was an unlikely viral sensation, with a clip that topped the Youtube Christmas charts!) We’re excited to announce that we’re currently making an epic documentary for the BBC and CNN films about the inside story of the biggest scientific challenge of our age – how a small international group of vaccine scientists took on COVID-19.
In History, Wingspan enjoys a long-standing relationship with Ian Hislop, making singles about the history of hot button issues ranging from Fake News to immigration, welfare to banking, as well as longer series on subjects such as Victorian philanthropy (Age of the Do-Gooders), the history of emotions (Ian Hislop’s Stiff Upper Lip), and even historiography (Ian Hislop’s Olden Days). We’ve also travelled the world to explore the history of diplomacy (Getting Our Way) as well as tackling subjects closer to home (Everyday Eden, The Pendle Witch Child.)
In Arts and Music, Wingspan’s output has ranged from the sublime (Angelic Voices) to the possibly ridiculous (How to Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell). Our music programmes have tackled both the deadly serious (Tunes for Tyrants) and the more light-hearted (The Great American Love Song). We’ve delved into poetry (Return to TS Eliotland, The Changing of the Bard) and the theatre (Abducted, The Real Tom Thumb) – and we’re currently in production with a lovely film about one of Britain’s best loved artists – watch this space!
In documentary, Wingspan is proud to collaborate with acclaimed film-maker Richard Alwyn, whether on his observational trilogies such as Catholics and Cathedrals, or his powerful singles like Speechless and Into the Wind. We’ve also twice taken over BBC Four for an evening – working with the BFI and BBC to select and support upcoming film-makers in the short films that made up Listen to Britain 2017 and Animation 2018.
In Current Affairs, Wingspan’s surprisingly feel-good Don’t Panic films with Hans Rosling about Population and Poverty won acclaim (as well as an RTS) for making the complex seem simple with their innovative use of interactive graphics on a massive scale. And our six part series for Sky Atlantic explored the Networks of Power in six of the world’s greatest cities.
Wingspan welcomes strong, rigorous, focused ideas with scope for commission within the British or international broadcasting landscape.