Virginia McKenna’s Born Free was a resounding success and fitting tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of the making of the film Born Free. The documentary which aired on Channel 4 to fantastic reviews, followed the 85 year old BAFTA winning actress as she returns to Kenya to retrace the footsteps she took with her late husband Bill Travers in 1966. Daisybeck Studios is eternally grateful to everyone who made it possible, and would like to extend our thanks to Elsa Kopje, Kenya Wildlife Service, Maggie & Tim Hobbs, Ol Jogi Conservancy, Penny & John Horsey and Ol Pejeta.
“The challenges Virginia and Bill faced in playing George and Joy Adamson went way beyond learning a script and portraying them accurately and sympathetically. With no CGI to create the interaction between human and wild animals in the 1960s, the actors had to work with real lions with all the dangers that presented. It was a massive risk, the film went way over schedule and budget, resulting in Virginia, Bill and their young family having to stay more than nine months in Africa. Despite the dangers involved this was a movie that changed the couple’s future and would lead them to a lifelong campaign to keep wild life living free” said Daisybeck Managing Director and Executive Producer Paul Stead. “It’s always a great treat as a producer to follow a journey that clearly means so much as TO those involved as this one does to Virginia and her son Will, who accompanied his mother to Kenya.”
The documentary which aired on the 23rd October 2016 and is still available in the UK online at Channel4.com .
Daisybeck Studios enjoyed a fantastic 2016 with some 30 hours of TV produced. Our hugely successful series “The Yorkshire Vet” grew to attract the highest audience of the day on Channel 5 (Tuesdays at 8pm) peaking with two Specials, the seasonal ‘Winter on the Moors and very festive ‘The Yorkshire Vet at Christmas’.
“We’re so lucky to have such a brilliant team of creative Producers, Directors, Researchers, Co-ordinators and Editors who along with our Production Management team make Daisybeck such a wonderful place to work” Said Paul Stead. “To win 2 RTS Awards and produce all this great content in one year sets the bar high and I’m leading our development team who are working like the clappers to build up the slate and continue growing into 2017” No pressure there then Paul!