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Meet the Factual Commissioner: Simon Bohrsmann, Nat Geo UK

Simon Bohrsmann, General Manager National Geographic UK recently outlined his commissioning needs to attendees of the Broadcast Factual Forum (March 2010). Simon commissions across Nat Geo UK and Nat Geo Wild (natural history).

Simon's view on Nat Geo UK:
Photo by Torres CC BY 2.0

Photo by Torres CC BY-SA 2.0's View on UKTV

  • The audience is male-skewing and older
  • He gets a fair amount of his programming from Nat Geo’s international channels
  • The channel concentrates on traditional subjects – it’s not avant garde and isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel
  • There are commissioning opportunities on UK and international Nat Geo channels – 100 hours in 2011
  • Nat Geo UK has smaller budgets than Nat Geo USA – get buy-in from global channels to get bigger budgets
  • UK budget = £80-90K per hour
  • Sometimes do co-productions with Ch4 and Five
Programmes that work well: 
Jealous of: 
  • Monsters Inside Me (Animal Planet/ Discovery UK) – stories of people who have picked up and are living with parasites…until those parasites decide to emerge from their body… by eating through their flesh. Clips from the show went viral as people emailed YouTube clips. This subject has been done a number of times in the past, but the advent of emailable clips made it seem fresh again.
Looking For:

Source: Broadcast Factual Forum 10th March, 2010



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