Interview by Paul Salfen
Michael Gunton is the Creative Director BBC Studios Natural History Unit. Within this role, Mike works as an executive producer on many BBC titles, acts as an ambassador for BBC Studios internationally, and is responsible for bringing new and pioneering stories about the natural world to global audiences.
Mike has worked on many critically acclaimed series including Galapagos, Yellowstone, Madagascar, Life, Africa, Shark, Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur and Life Story.
His most recent series include the record breaking Planet Earth II (winner of 4 BAFTAs and 2 Emmys and believed to have been viewed by around 1 billion people) and in 2018, the ground breaking animal behaviour series Dynasties.
Mike is also a fellow of the Royal Television Society and Linnean Society.
Oliver Jeffers is an internationally celebrated artist and storyteller, whose visual language is drawn from distinct and humorous observations of the world around us, and explorations of the planet we live on and the great cosmos beyond, Oliver’s substantial body of work takes many forms, from collage and painting to performance and sculpture.
His work is exhibited at such institutions as the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Palais Auersperg in Vienna. His work is also featured by the TED conference, Apple Education, Adobe MAX conference, New York Parks Department and Rockefeller Center.
Notable collaborations include those with JR, Jerry Saltz, and ongoing projects with U2/(RED) – with whom he’s art directed for several music videos and the global tour Songs of Innocence in 2016. Oliver’s critically acclaimed picture books are published in more than 50 languages worldwide and he has received some of the highest accolades children’s publishing, including the Nestlé Gold Medal, Bologna Rigazzi Award, the Irish Picture Book of the Year, and New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.