WINGSPAN is known for its rigorous journalism, engaging and emotional story-telling and accessible, creative approaches to a huge range of factual content.
Founded by Archie Baron in 2008, WINGSPAN delivers across the factual 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 BAFTA, Grierson, Prix Italia, Rose D'Or, RTS, Broadcast, AFO, Sandford St Martin and Impact Docs awards and nominations.
WINGSPAN’s wingspan is enjoyably broad, and some of our most ambitious projects have been so bold and bonkers they defy categorisation to become legendary in the industry. 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”. Beyond the Fence, a West End musical we staged in 2016, was an AI milestone, the first complete show ever to be written by computer - devised for our ambitious Sky Arts television experiment Computer Says Show which asked an essential question: can human creativity be coded? 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!
Our recent Science commisions include two award-winning access documentaries about vaccines that save millions of lives. The Battle to Beat Malaria witnesses on four continents the development and trial of the University of Oxford vaccine R21. Our feature doc Race for the Vaccine followed not just Oxford, but teams in USA, China, and Australia trying to save the world throughout the COVID pandemic. In the UK these films were part of the BBC's flagship Horizon strand where we've also made recent films 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!)
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.) We made The Real Spies Among Friends for ITV in 2022 to accompany their drama series about the Cambridge Spies.
In Arts and Music, Quentin Blake: The Drawing of My Life was a highlight of the BBC's 2021 Christmas schedule. Previous output 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).
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.