The Team

Clare Birks

As CEO she is responsible for the strategic direction as well as the overall running of the company in addition to raising co-production finance and overseeing the commercial exploitation of the company’s IP.   Since taking on the role in 2004, she has used her commercial acumen to transform the business into a company with an international reputation for creative excellence and innovation producing award-winning programming for the international market.  

Co-production partnerships with the USA, Australia, Austria, Korea, Japan and most recently China have enabled the company to produce a range of programming in the natural history and science genres including global hit Meerkat Manor, Wildest Weather with Richard Hammond, Wild Tokyo, Magical land of Oz and China: Nature’s Ancient Kingdom.  

Prior to this she worked extensively in drama co-production for Southern Star, funding drama development and brokering international co-production deals for series.   She has also 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

Caroline Hawkins is an award-winning filmmaker who joined OSF in 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, Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem for BBC and PBS, Carol Klein’s Plant Odysseys for BBC2, Secret Life of Twins for ITV and Dogs Might Fly for Sky One. More recently she produced Wild Korea for BBC and Terra Mater Factual Studios.

Caroline started her career as a floor manager at LWT before moving to BBC Wales to direct live news. A 13-year freelance career as a director followed with credits including Delia Smith’s Summer Collection, The Clothes Show, The Good Sex Guide, Natural World and the award-winning documentary Last Voyage of the Thistlegorm.

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.

She has just delivered The Magical Land of Oz (3 x 1hrs) to BBC, ABC and PBS, Secret Life of Farm Animals (3 x 1hrs) to BBC and Driven: The Billy Monger Story (1 x 1 hr) to BBC.

Lucinda Axelsson

Lucinda Axelsson is a multi-award winning executive producer and former BBC Commissioning Editor and BBC NHU producer, specialising in highly popular and innovative specialist factual shows, documentaries and wildlife series from high end Blue Chip to presenter led shows. She recently exec produced ‘Serengeti’ a pioneering ‘wildlife meets drama’ hybrid series for the BBC, with XIX entertainment and John Downer Productions.

As a series producer Lucinda was responsible for helping create several long running series including the Emmy Award winning Meerkat Manor with OSF, where for the first time the dramatic narrative techniques of the soap opera were used to reveal the complex social lives of animals, and Natures Weirdest Events where she innovated new ways of explaining the science behind the strange and wonderful events from the natural world by using User Generated Content alongside blue chip footage.

Strong storytelling is at the heart of everything Lucinda does. As a producer and then as a Commissioning Editor she breathed new life in the Blue Chip landmark space with highly rated series on Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Patagonia, Mexico, Thailand and Alaska, with a focus on creating surprising and exciting narratives. As a Commissioning Editor she worked closely with the producers on highly rated and innovative shows including Spy in the Wild, Snow Chick and Pets Wild at Heart for JDP, the Bafta Nominated, multi-award winning, Attenborough’s Life that Glows with Ammonite Films and Tribes, Predators and Me and Elephant Family and Me featuring Gordon Buchanan with the NHU. Beyond Wildlife films, she was also responsible for the hit BBC shows The World’s Most Amazing Hotels and James May: The Reassembler.