Person details

Nicola Lees
Development Consultant and Founder of, UK

Nicola Lees has worked in the television industry – in London and New York – for thirteen years. She has production credits on a range of programmes including Shut Up! It’s Stacy London, Animal Hospital, The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and Meet the Ancestors, and additional editor credits on feature documentary Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields and feature film Dog Sweat, but her biggest passion is programme development. Nicola has developed documentaries, docudramas, multiplatform and reality programmes for network and cable channels, including the BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, in the UK and Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic and TLC in the USA. She has written more than 400 factual television programme proposals, attended countless pitch meetings and has been directly involved in researching, writing or pitching more than 80 commissioned programmes, many of which have won industry awards. Commissioned programmes include:

How Not to Be Shark Bait (Discovery, USA) 2008

Earth: The Power of the Planet (BBC2/National Geographic, USA) BAFTA nominated 2008

Fight for Life (BBC1) 2007
Fashionably Late with Stacy London (TLC, USA) 2007
Pageant Rewind (TLC, USA) 2006
Battle of the Geeks (BBC2/Discovery, USA) 2006
Frugal But Fabulous (Travel Channel, USA) 2006
Moms on the Road: Africa (Travel Channel, USA) 2006
Guinea Pig Club (BBC2/4) Royal Television Society History Award 2004
Desperate Midwives (BBC3) 2006
Surviving Disaster (BBC1) 2006
Death Detective (BBC3) 2006
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World (BBC2) 2003 Royal Television Society
Science and Natural History Award nominee and short-listed for six BAFTAs. Nicola now develops programmes on a consultancy basis and has worked with clients in the UK, Austria and the USA. She regularly leads seminars at the Documentary Filmmakers Group and has spoken at a wide range of industry events such as the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, BECTU Freelancers Fair and the Broadcast Production Show. She is currently producing all the panel sessions for the Televisual Intelligent Factual Festival, London. Since leaving the BBC in 1998, Nicola has been busy writing Greenlit:
Developing Your Factual/Reality TV Ideas From Concept to Pitch, which is due
for publication in August 2010. Combining her insights from more than ten years development experience and interviews with fifty top international producers and commissioners the book reveals the insider development tips and pitching secrets no one ever tells you. Each chapter is stuffed with case studies –The Apprentice, Survivor, Supernanny, Robot Wars, Meet the Natives to name a few – along with useful resource lists, sample proposals and practical exercises.