Mike's Programmes

'Bite Me', National Geographic and the Travel Channel 2009 - present

Bite MeStill showing world-wide on the 'National Geographic' channels, this series shows travellers how tiny creatures and microbes can pack a hefty punch. Whether it's a deadly disease, acid-spewing ant, or explosive beetle, Mike scoured the globe to find some of the world's most inventive killers, and proved that size is irrelevant when it comes to posing the biggest threat to humans.

 

Bite MeIn order to bring the subject matter to life, Mike was sprayed by a skunk, bitten by bullet ants, fed on by leeches, stung by box jelly fish, used his body as bait to catch the notorious penis-invading candiru fish, risked death by permanent erection at the hands (or rather fangs) of the Brazilian Wandering Spider, and was hospitalised on several occasions. In this unique way Mike brought attention to many unchecked tropical diseases and health issues of the developing world - unleashing them into TVs sat in the living rooms of the prosperous north.

 

 

 

 

Ís Oral Sex Safe? BBC3, 2011

Is Oral Sex Safe?Originally conceived, written and proposed by Mike as a straight documentary, possibly to be presented by himself and Sharon Osbourne, with whom he met to discuss the idea, this show was to be called 'Catching Cancer' and was to take a look at the many forms of cancer that are viral or bacterial in origin. Leopard Films finally developed the programme for the demograophics of BBC3, using Jaime Winstone as a presenter, and dropping many of the so-called 'contagious cancers' from the show, instead concentrating on the seven hundred men who develop oral cancers each year after close intimate contact with women infected with Human Papiloma Viruses 16 and 18 (HPV 16 & 18). This resulted in a programme which achieved lots of critical acclaim. Compulsive viewing, and it would never have reached the viewing public without a lot of tenaciousness on the part of Mike and Leopard Films.

Pandemics - a Horizon Guide, BBC4, 2009/repeated in June 2012

Mike used 50 years of BBC archives to explore the history of pandemics, showing how science and the media grappled with widespread disease, reporting its failures, and championing its successes. It was his opportunity to help make a programme about something he was really passionate about.

Invasion of the Bodyscratchers, Sky, 2006/7

Mike spent 2004-2005 travelling the World, but on his return to the UK in 2006/7 he combined exotic travel and self experimentation with a return to parasitology, a branch of science that he loves. 'Invasion of the Bodyscratchers' took him globetrotting to Japan, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Africa and Portugal to look at some of the World’s grossest and most dangerous creatures – many of which he grew in his own body. The series was shown on Sky1 in 2006 and repeated regularly on Sky3 until 2012.

Lab Rats, BBC, 2003/4

Mike in LabratsMike presented a series specifically written for him called 'Lab Rats'. As the name suggests the programme was about self experimentation, Mike being one of the 'Rats'. With co-presenter Zeron Gibson he looked at the effect of g-force on the human body and sleep deprivation on the brain. The 'Rats' tried to overcome their greatest fears and looked at the effect of lifestyle on their sperm counts. The series was shown on BBC3 in Spring 2004. The experiments carried out in this series were extreme and included experiencing 9.5g in a giant centrifuge before feeling severe g-Force in the real world when flying an F16 fighter jet. But the most demending experiment must have been taking part in the World's first televised sperm race.

Body Snatchers, BBC, 2003

Perhaps one of the most shocking projects Mike has been involved with was the first programme in the BBC1 series 'Body Snatchers' screened during November 2003. In order to fully appreciate the true horror of a parasite infection he swallowed a tapeworm cyst and allowed it to grow in his guts for the eleven weeks preceding his wedding. The programme followed him as the beast grew and he finally got rid of it into a modified colander rammed down his toilet. The programme was subsequently featured in the Channel Four 'Top One Hundred TV Moments of 2003'.

Horizon, BBC, 2003 / BBC World Service, 2003

Mike in HorizonIn 2003 Mike did some serious high-brow science on TV. Using his experience as a virologist at Oxford University he was featured throughout a Horizon programme that looked at the virus that causes SARs and contributed to the script. Mike has also worked on BBC World Service scientific programmes, has researched and written about global virus outbreaks for BBC online and has written several features for the websites that have supported the television shows. Because one of his interests is motorsport Mike has penned a number of articles for the motoring press, tending to specialise in four wheel drives, classic rallying and dirt biking. He has also published articles in travel magazines and is now working on larger projects, including a book.

Rough Science, BBC, 1999-2002

Mike in Rough ScienceMike’s first job in national TV was with the 'Famous Five' style BBC2 hands-on science series Rough Science. He worked on the first three series of the popular-prime time family programme. The first in 1999 was based in Capraia (a small island off the Italian coast). The second, in 2001, took him to Carriacou (a small island in the Caribbean) and the third, in 2002, was based in New Zealand. In the process Mike made autoclaves, generated electricity, worked out his latitude and longitude and helped prospect for gold. Viewing figures peaked at around three million people.

In 1999 after returning from the first series of BBC2's Rough Science Mike worked for his local TV channel as the Motorsport Correspondent. This also led to work for a Formula One team. His responsibilities included research, organising interviews, writing scripts, voiceover work and general pieces to camera. It was fun working with others keen to produce decent TV with no budget, but the pay was crap.

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