Mike's CV

Broadcast experience

2009-2011: Presenter, National Geographic Channels. 'Bite Me with Dr Mike Leahy'

A globetrotting series looking at bugs, insects, animals and parasites that may be fascinating organisms to watch on TV, but might just wreck your foreign travels or holidays. Typically, Mike experiences many of these potentially life-threatening beasts first-hand, and ends up in hospital on several occasions.

2009: Presenter, BBC4. 'Pandemics, a Horizon Guide'

This fascinating, one-off programme charts the history of pandemic and worldwide disease outbreaks as seen through BBC cameras over the last fifty years.

2008-9: Presenter, Travel Channel. 'Foreign Bodies'

A TV series for the American audience in which Mike visits Arizona, Florida and several locations outside the USA tracking down parasites, stingers and biters. In this show Mike catches a python in the Florida everglades, wrestles an alligator captured in a storm drain and meets the world’s most venomous snake.

2006-7: Presenter / reporter, Warwick University i-Cast

A cutting edge science magazine i-Cast from Warwick University – the first of its kind.

2006: Presenter, Sky1 'Invasion of the Bodyscratchers'

A series dedicated to globetrotting in order to grow parasites in myself and other people!

2003-4: Presenter, BBC3 'Lab Rats'

Outlandish stunts and self-experimentation including the World's first televised sperm race and some extreme flying in a USAF jet fighter. The series was written specifically for me to present by the series producer of 'Rough Science'.

2003: On-screen contributor, Horizon (SARS outbreak)

Serious 'high brow' science on the long running BBC2 science series.

2003-4: On-screen contributor, BBC1 'Bodysnatchers'

A notorious series in which I grew a tape worm in my own body!

2002: On-screen contributor, BBC2 'Rough Science III'

Another 'Famous Five' type series this time based in New Zealand.

2001: On-screen contributor, BBC2 'Rough Science II'

As the original Rough Science but based on Carriacou, West Indies.

2000: On-screen contributor, BBC2 'Rough Science II'

Contributor, Radio 4 'The Story of Time'A discussion on latitude and longitude.

2000: Voice over, 'The History of TWR'

Corporate promotional video for Tom Walkinshaw Racing.

2000: Presenter / narrator, Orange Arrows Formula One

Publicity and video news releases for the Leafield based team.

1999-2000: Motor Sport correspondent, The Oxford Channel

Short features on motor sport stories for local TV.

1999: On-screen contributor, BBC2 'Rough Science'

Family show involving practical experiments in the exotic setting of Capraia, Italy, but with very basic equipment.


Over the past few years Mike has appeared as a guest on local TV news, radio news, the Danny Baker radio show and the Paul O'Grady television show, and has had large features in the nationals, science publications, NUTS and Bizarre magazine.


In addition to TV work Mike writes for 'Adventure Bike Rider' and has written for 'Land Rover Owner' magazine, the broadsheet educational supplements, 'NERC News', 'MG Enthusiast', 'Mountain Biking UK', 'Second Hand Bike', 'Motorcycle Sport and Leisure' and educational publications for the Open University.

Mike has published many scientific papers within the field of virology.


Mike has a BSc in Ecology (1st Class Hons) and a DPhil (doctorate) from Oxford University in Virology and Molecular Biology. However he initially left school early, on bad terms, and with few qualifications.

Professional experience

Mike was a motor vehicle mechanic for ten years before leaving work to study for a degree in ecology, which explains his interest in motoring. After completing his DPhil, he worked as a virologist and microbiologist, both of which involved an element of parasitology. Most of his research was conducted at Oxford University, although he also worked overseas for short periods.

Areas of interest

Mike loves travel, has traditionally worked in exotic, adventurous (or downright rough) locations and in the course of his work has visited, worked or travelled in about forty countries. He has an awareness of a range of scientific topics, is concerned by social innequality and injustice, and is particularly enthusiastic about emerging diseases, the synthesis between 'conventional' and 'complementary' medicine, virology, microbiology, parasitology, and diseases / healthcare in the developing world. He has always been a 'petrol-head' and is fascinated by the social history of the motor car and excited by adventure motorcycle touring.

Outside work

Mike travels a lot (usually by motorcycle). He races dirt bikes and has a black belt in Taikwondo. He owns a TVR.

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