Wise Owl Wins First BBC2 Series Commission

Wise Owl Wins First BBC2 Series Commission

Wise Owl Films has won its first BBC2 series commission, following Yorkshire firefighters on and off duty, using the latest technology to bring viewers closer than ever to real emergencies and the men and women dealing with them.

The four-part documentary series has been commissioned by BBC England and BBC Two and follows the work of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

With access to firefighters working at emergencies, the Wise Owl series will take viewers from the control room to the front line. Firefighters will wear the latest helmet-mounted heat resistant cameras, transporting viewers into the heart of the action.

The West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service has over 900 firefighters and is a close-knit community with a diverse range of personnel dedicated to serving the public - often in highly dangerous and life-threatening situations. A specialist Urban Search And Rescue Dog called Jessie and water rescue unit are part of a team responding to an increasingly wide range of incidents. Expect drama and jeopardy - but also plenty of Yorkshire warmth and humour too.

West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service serves some of England’s biggest cities including Leeds and Bradford and some of the North’s most beautiful countryside.

Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for England, says: “Being a firefighter is now so much more than fighting fires. We’re going to use the latest technology to show viewers exactly what it takes to be a firefighter today.

“The programme will put audiences right at the centre of emergencies and the work of the fire service with special helmet-mounted 'firecams', footage taken from fire engines and the control room. I can’t wait to see what unfolds.”

Mark Robinson, Executive Producer for Wise Owl Films says: “In 2020, being a firefighter is so much more than just about fighting fires. Today’s skilful and dedicated firefighters face a wider range of callouts than ever - from road traffic collisions to floods and water rescues.

“Using technology that wouldn’t have been available just a few years ago, we want to show viewers just what daily life is like for a West Yorkshire firefighter. They often come from the communities which they serve, and there is a family spirit within each Watch which comes from putting absolute trust in each other on a daily basis."

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton says: “We are really excited to be part of this project and we hope it will give us a great opportunity to show what life is like behind the scenes of a modern day fire and rescue service, and to explode some dated myths.”

Firefighters (w/t) will start filming in the lead up to Bonfire Night and will be shown in 2021 - James Knight is series producer and Ben Sheldon series director for Wise Owl.



All six episodes of our new Sky Arts music series “From The Vaults” are now available to watch as a box set on Sky and Now TV.

Elbow frontman and broadcaster Guy Garvey lifts the lid on two decades of TV gold – with era-defining musical performances, long-lost studio appearances and revealing interviews from the archives.



Lime Pictures’ non-scripted label Wise Owl Films has landed its first Sky Arts commission with the six-part music documentary series, Guy Garvey: From The Vaults as part of Sky Arts move to free-to-air later this month.

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey has curated six hours of his favourite artistes and songs from the Seventies and Eighties, with the series uncovering previously unseen performances by rock music icons like Kate Bush. The documentaries will also unearth studio performances, out-takes and revealing interviews that have stayed hidden on the shelves for decades. The series will air on 18th September at 9pm on Sky Arts and NOW TV, as part of a raft of exciting, absorbing and accessible programming for the newly free to air channel.

The series is centred around shows which were made by ITV companies around the country – from Tony Wilson and Granada TV’s So It Goes to Tyne Tees’ ground-breaking Channel 4 series The Tube and LWT’s The London Weekend Show - chronicling not just changing musical tastes but evolution in the UK’s social and cultural history too.  The series travels from Punk and New Wave to the birth of ‘Madchester’.

With each episode concentrating on a different 12 months in rock history, Guy Garvey gives his personal take on the tracks from that year, as we hear about the songs and artistes from across many musical genres who have inspired his own song-writing career.

Guy Garvey says: “Imagine me running around the warehouse from the end scene in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. In one box an early interview with The Smiths, in another box unseen footage of Kate Bush and then a box containing Tony Wilson’s amazing wardrobe. I was as giddy as a kipper making this series.”

Guy Garvey: From The Vaults embodies Sky Arts’ mission to bring art and culture alive for everyone, champion artistic talent and drive participation in the arts nationwide. The Sky original series will air on Sky Arts when the channel becomes free for everyone across the UK to watch on Freeview and Freesat. It will also be available on streaming service NOW TV.    

Wise Owl Films’ Creative Director and Executive Producer Mark Robinson comments: “We wanted to dig deep into the archive to uncover some real buried treasure for Guy to enjoy – clips from artistes we knew he loved, but clips that we also believed he would never have seen before.

“It’s felt like we’ve been compiling an alternative history of rock, as seen on British TV – with some performances that haven’t been seen in decades, and others which hit the cutting room floor and never made it to TV. It’s been a joy and a privilege being part of a production team setting eyes on these for the first time in 40 or 50 years”.



Our new BBC2 documentary “When Bob Marley Came To Britain” was broadcast over the August Bank Holiday weekend and received a host of positive reviews and “pick of the days” in the press, with The Observer calling it “a fascinating and joyous documentary.”

The programme is available to view on the BBC iplayer for 12 months, here.


Wise Owl Films has landed its first BBC Two commission with a 1 x 60-minute documentary that explores Bob Marley’s influence on the UK.

In the 1970s, Bob Marley rose from humble beginnings in his homeland of Jamaica to become a global superstar. It was a journey that took him to Britain - the place he came to regard as his second home.