Clare Birks has spent her career working in the production, co-production and distribution business. She has been running Oxford Scientific Films since 2004 transforming the business into a company with a reputation for creative excellence and innovation combined with commercial acumen. OSF’s output has increased considerably and the range of programme has expanded beyond natural history to include science, history, archaeology, arts and culture, and most recently documentaries. Her experience of the international market has enabled OSF to produce award-winning high-end series such as Richard Hammond’s Miracles of Nature and Wild Weather in co-production with Terra Mater Factual Studios.
Prior to this she worked extensively in drama for Southern Star, co-funding development for shows for BBC and ITV and brokering international co-production deals for series such as Second Sight (Twenty Twenty) written by Paula Milne (BBC and WGBH) The Secret Life of Us (Southern Star John Edwards) for Channel 4 and Do or Die (Southern Star John Edwards) for Sky One.
She has worked for a number of leading entertainment companies including RKO, Viacom and London Weekend Television. She graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in History.
Caroline Hawkins has been with OSF since 2004. She is the creator of the international hit Meerkat Manor. Her other credits include Fatal Attractions, There’s A Rhino in My House, Lemur Street, Jessica the Hippo (Animal Planet), Bad@$$ Animals (National Geographic Wild) and Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem for BBC and PBS.
Caroline started her career as a floor manager at LWT before moving to BBC Wales aged 23 to direct live news. A successful 13-year freelance career as a writer and director followed with credits including The Wild Ladies of Viramba (BBC 2 Natural World), The Science of Survival (Five and Discovery), Return to the Wild (National Geographic), Delia Smith’s Summer Collection, A Taste of Japan and the award-winning Last Voyage of the Thistlegorm for BBC 2. Wild and Dangerous, The Really Wild Show, Summer Holiday and The Clothes Show for BBC 1 and Wild About the Garden and The Good Sex Guide for Channel 4.
She produced her first feature film in 2008, Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins for Discovery Studios and The Weinstein Company. In 2012 she led OSF’s move into 3D with Meerkats 3D followed by Pandas 3D -The Journey Home, the IMAX version of which is on release in North America and Europe.
Recent productions include Carol Klein’s Plant Odysseys for BBC2, Secret Life of Twins for ITV and the headline-grabbing new series for Sky 1 Dogs Might Fly.
Head of Specialist Factual
Alice Keens-Soper joined Oxford Scientific Films in January 2008 and is Head of Specialist Factual. She won a BAFTA and an International EMMY for her first commission, Saving Africa’s Witch Children, a Dispatches special for Channel 4.
Alice is a prolific producer across a whole range of factual television specialising in popular natural history, science, history, and current affairs.
Since joining OSF Alice has produced a number of shows for a range of UK and US broadcasters including the feature length History of Safari with Richard E Grant for BBC4, the 3 x 1 hour award winning series Richard Hammond’s Miracles of Nature for BBC1 and the 3 x 1 hour series ‘Wild Weather with Richard Hammond’, also for BBC1. Alice also created the ‘Secret Life of’ brand for ITV in 2012 which kicked off with ‘Secret Life of Dogs’ and was followed up with Secret Life of Cats and Secret Life of Babies narrated by Martin Clunes. The brand continued to expand in 2015 with Secret life of Twins, Secrets of Growing up and Secrets of Growing Old. Alice has also produced Secrets of the Stonehenge Skeletons for Channel 4 as well as ‘How to Win the Grand National, and The Trainer and the Racehorse; the legend of ‘Frankel also for Channel 4
In 2013 Alice produced the ratings hit series ‘Animal Odd Couples’ presented by Liz Bonnin for BBC1 and continued to expand OSF’s popular natural history output with ‘Animals in Love’; a 2 x 1 hour series for BBC1 also presented by Liz Bonnin.
Alice produced the comedy natural history series ‘Nature Nuts with Julian Clary’, 4 x 1 hour for ITV, and Animal Mums, 3 x 1 hour series, also for ITV.
Most recently Alice has produced Ingenious Animals, 4 x 1 hour series for BBC1 presented by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Lucy Cooke, Patrick Aryee and Giles Clarke, which takes a fresh look at animal behavior from all over the world.
Alice is currently in production on several series’ and specials for both UK and US broadcasters.