Wildlife film-making returns to Norwich

MARK NICHOLLS Wildlife film-making is being moved back to Norwich as part of a major restructuring plan for ITV. But it will not see the revival of Anglia's one-time flagship animal programme Survival, which placed the city on the map as a centre for excellence in wildlife film-making.

MARK NICHOLLS

Wildlife film-making is being moved back to Norwich as part of a major restructuring plan for ITV.

But it will not see the revival of Anglia's one-time flagship animal programme Survival, which placed the city on the map as a centre for excellence in wildlife film-making.

Granada Wild is moving to Norwich after ITV bosses decided to close the company's Bristol-based operation just five years after programmes such as Survival were moved there under another restructuring.

Last night, Andrea Cornes, controller of Granada Wild and Granada Anglia, said that with the closure of Bristol it made sense to return the wildlife film-making to Norwich.

“People in Norwich already share the same knowledge and the level of talent required for these pro-grammes and it makes sense to have it here,” she said.

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“It is the result earlier this year of ITV undertaking a restructuring and deciding to close its Bristol offices. But that has resulted in Granada Wild coming to Norwich where we already make a lot of animal programmes.”

Granada Wild will move to Anglia Television in Norwich where the wildlife programm-ing will be produced alongside ITV Production Anglia's existing programmes. Some are already in production here such as a series for Animal Planet USA, which includes Animal Cops and Animal Precinct, and a new high-definition wildlife series for National Geographic Channel USA.

Most significantly, the Granada Wild film library will also be relocated to Norwich, which includes the Survival and Partridge catalogues, as well as recent ITV wildlife productions including Deep Jungle.

There was widespread disappointment in 2001 when Survival moved to Bristol.

However, Ms Cornes said that while ITV wildlife pro-gramme-making would again be based in Norwich, it would not mean the revival of Survival.

“Survival was of its time,” she said. “Wildlife programme-making has moved on. We are not trying to re-invent Survival.

“This will be a brand new brand.”

She referred to the recent David Attenborough series - programmes such as Planet Earth - and those making use of computer-generated imagery and high-definition techniques.

“But we are proud of Norwich's wildlife programme-making history and I am really pleased that Granada Wild will be back here,” she said.

“Granada Wild offers a strong complementary brand to our production slate, and an opportunity to establish a strong regional base for wildlife programme-making in Norwich”.

Ms Cornes said some of the team were already in Norwich and the rest would move next month.

It is unclear how many people will relocate from Bristol but there could also be new work opportunities created in Norwich, though most will be for freelance operators.