Mike Birkhead


Mike was a failed professional footballer first. Then directed by his brother's discipline and passion for natural history he discovered his own love for the natural world. 10 years studying zoology lead to a doctorate from Oxford. Obviously not academic enough to carry on at the "dreaming spires" he stumbled into TV without realising how lucky he was. 5 years at London Weekend Television - a glamorous and highly erudite centre was pure good fortune. City Safari, Live Entertainment programmes and game shows - LWT encouraged entrepreneurship and independence.

Mike left to set up his own company whilst at the same time making a few films for the brilliant and esoteric Rosenberg lead Partridge Films. 30 years later and a lot of programmes under his belt (Land of the Tiger, Tiger Crisis, Battle to Save the Tiger, Echo an Unforgettable Elephant, Siberian Tiger Quest, Wild Sri Lanka, Attenborough's Big Birds). Mike does not regret failing to play for Leeds United and realises how much serendipity is involved in a career in independent film-making. Latest films "H is for Hawk" and "Attenborough's Eggs" for BBC and WNET/Nature.

Titles Produced/Directed

Most Recent Programmes

  • Attenborough's Eggs (In production) for BBC/Nature PBS.
  • H is for Hawk: A New Chapter
  • Badlands
  • Ostrich - Life on the Run
  • Attenborough's Birds
  • Wild Sri Lanka Series
  • Namibia Desert Kingdom
  • Sri Lanka: Elephant Island
  • Queen of Tigers
  • Siberian Tiger Quest
  • Tiger Island
  • ManEater Manhunt
  • Echo an Unforgettable Elephant
  • Amba the Russian Tiger
  • Good Morning Kalimantan 6x30
  • Radio Gibbon
  • Echo and the Elephants of Amboseli 13x30
  • Cukcoo
  • Real Monarch of the Glen 6x30
  • Moose in the Glen
  • Elephant Nomads of the Namib Desert
  • Battle to Save the Tiger
  • Eye for an Elephant
  • Tiger Zero
  • Eagle Island
  • Echo of the Elephants; the final chapter?
  • Desert Wolves of India
  • Guy Pearce's Ultimate Guide to Tigers
  • Tigers of the Emerald Forest
  • Search for Tigers
  • Danger in Tiger Paradise
  • Leopard Hunters
  • The Tigers’ Fortress
  • The Timeless Thames
  • The Monkeys Of The Rock
  • The Last Tusker
  • Tiger – BBC & National Geographic Special
  • Land Of The Tiger 6 X 50’ Series
  • Postcards From The Country. 8 X 40’ Series
  • Tiger Crisis
  • The Tale Of The Peacock And The Tiger
  • Thunderbirds
  • Grand Canyon
  • Badlands
  • Land Of Giants

See programmes for full details

Older Programmes

The Return Of The Royal Swan

1991 a 30' film for ABC/Discovery
An award winner at Missoula film festival.

The Camargue

1991 A 30' film for ABC/Discovery

Chateau Safari

1991 A 30' film for ABC/Discovery

Ants and Plants

1991 A 30' film for ABC/Discovery

In Search of Hammerheads

1991 A 30' film for ABC/Discovery

Web of Steel

1991 A 30' film for ABC/Discovery

Brave New Wilderness

1990 A Series of 6 x 30' for network ITV

The Survival Game

1988 A 60' National Geographic special

The Crown of the Continent

1988 A 60' film for WNET/HTV

Produced and directed a series of commercials for KLM Airlines


1988 onwards:

Independent/Freelance Producer/Director, producing films for BBC, PBS, HTV/Partridge Films, National Geographic, WNET, Discovery and Animal Planet.

Books and Publications

Written numerous articles for papers and magazines. Written or co-authored,and/or photographed the following books; The Survival Factor (an Anglia survival TV/tie in book), Brave New Wilderness (an LWT tie in book), City Safari (an LWT tie in book), The Mute Swan, The Zoo in the Garden, The Zoo in the Town, The Zoo in the House, The Zoo in you, The Kestrel in the Town and Postcards from the Country.


Mike Birkhead
Gordon Buchanan
Saritha Wilkinson
Nigel Buck
Cherry Dorrett
Valmik Thapar
Martyn Colbeck
Joe Loncraine
Jeremy Evans
David Mitcham