Julian Hector, the head of BBC Studios’ iconic Natural History Unit, is leaving after nearly 30 years of service to the production division behind global hits including Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Seven Worlds, One Planet.
Hector first joined the Natural History Unit in 1993 and succeeded Wendy Darke as its head in 2016. BBC Studios said he has presided over the most successful period in the Bristol-based unit’s 64-year history, steering Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, Dynasties to the screen.
As well as making these BBC landmarks, Hector has expanded the NHU’s client base into the streaming world, helping the production outfit win commissions including The Year The Earth Changed for Apple TV+. He is leaving to pursue other interests connected to wildlife and championing the natural world.
BBC Studios’ managing director of factual Tom McDonald said: “I have nothing but admiration for Julian – he’s been an exceptional colleague. During his tenure, he has put the natural world and the NHU’s people at the centre of his thinking so his departure at the end of the year will be bittersweet. He has transformed the NHU, growing the business and transforming its culture. His legacy will be felt for many years to come.”
Hector added: “It’s a wrench to leave the helm of the Natural History Unit after five wonderful years. I feel honoured to have led the world’s best wildlife filmmaking team in creating such hugely influential work. Rest assured I will continue to weave the natural world into all I do and will always champion the public service ideals of the BBC, surely one of the most important cultural and civilising institutions in the world.”
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