television

 

Adventures in the small screen trade


Comedy   .   Documentary   .   Childrens   .   Entertainment


Here you will find examples of Michael’s work for television in four different corners of the goggle box. Click on a category above - we hope it links you up with something interesting.


Although best known for his work in comedy, Michael has directed, produced & written a diverse range of television. These include Tomorrow’s World (location film director on the BBC1 science show) , Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (series director of Charlie Higson’s weekly cinema show), The Sunday Show (USA Director), The Word (USA/UK Director), Lonely Planet and his own documentary series -  Secret Lives.


After graduating with an M.A with distinction from the RCA film school in 1987, and almost certainly the result of an administrative error, Michael immediately got his first job - directing location films on the BBC1 popular science series - Tomorrow’s World. The series regularly pulled in fourteen million viewers following Top Of The Pops on Thursday evenings.


In 1988, Michael started his freelance TV career directing various shows at The Children’s Channel in the late 80‘s - continuing to work there, on and off, until 1994. As well as location directing and producing he also got his first experience of live and pre-recorded studio directing.


In 1992, Michael formed the company Better Television with TV presenter Gareth Jones (How 2, Get Fresh) and together with Phil Cornwell (Dead Ringers, Stella Street, Gorillaz) and his foam rubber alter ego Gilbert The Alien (Get Fresh, Gilbert’s Fridge) they made Over The Moon, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the moon landings for C4. They were also let loose at CBBC where they produced and curated a whole themed afternoon of shows about the moonshot anniversary - An Afternoon On The Moon.


Between 1993-1995 Michael travelled and worked all over the USA, on projects including An Afternoon On The Moon & The Word, as well as travelling and filming extensively in Brazil for Lonely Planet & The Sunday Show.


A meeting with Chris Morris in a Poland Street cafe in 1995 started Michael on his next adventure. Over coffee, they casually discussed the best way to fill a supermarket with water, how to fire a cow from a giant cannon and the work of Paul Morley. Soon after, Michael began an intense two year period directing a pilot - Torque TV - which would eventually become Brass Eye. The series threw up so many challenges that Michael moved immediately and seamlessly into comedy. Though reluctant to go on record to spoil the ‘myth’ of Brass Eye, Michael has unearthed some rare footage, stills and memories that should find their way onto this site from time to time.


Since 1995 Michael has almost exclusively directed comedy, working with a wide variety of talent in many different styles. Sketches, sitcoms, stand up, political satire and the simply unclassifiable. These include the ground breaking ‘Brass Eye’ series, five series of The Mark Thomas Product, World Of Pub, Lucas & Walliams in Rock Profile, Three Non Blondes,  two series of the BAFTA nominated Mark Steel Lectures, Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, The Peter Serafinowicz Show, Matt Berry & Rich Fulcher’s cult series - Snuff Box and two series of the award winning Matt Berry & Arthur Mathews penned sit com - Toast Of London.


Above the underground, Michael’s work has also been part of mainstream comedy on BBC1. He directed the first series of Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression (Winner, best comedy entertainment series - Comedy Awards 2000), two prime time series of The Lenny Henry Show and the pilot and both series of The Omid Djalili Show (2007-09). Michael, along with writing partner Rich Fulcher (Mighty Boosh, Snuff Box) also contributed sketches.