Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


10 Years in A&E: The fine art of filming life and death

Speakman Lecture Theatre, Clothworkers’ Building Central

Over the last decade, real life trauma medicine has become a staple of television documentary.

Ian Cundall has won two prestigious national Royal Television Society Awards – both as a series editor and executive producer, and has led teams making numerous series with the emergency services from the BBC’s Helicopter Heroes to BBC2’s An Hour to Save Your Life, Emergency Rescue Down Under and UKTV’s new series Helicopter ER.  He’s negotiated access to highly sensitive medical arenas and managed the resulting creative, ethical and legal dilemmas.

From using a remote submarine to discover a lost shipwreck off the coast of Iceland to filming Britain’s biggest underground cavern for the first time or safely recording the exhumation of a victim one of the world’s most lethal viruses, he has specialised in managing shooting in difficult environments and controlling risk.

After execing eight series of Helicopter Heroes, its Australian spin-off series and BBC TWO’s emotive documentary series Children’s Emergency Rescue, in 2015 he started – with a colleague – his own independent production company.

Air Television has won orders for nearly 40 hours of programming from the BBC, Channel 5 and UKTV in its first year.

Ian has assisted with aviation sequences on a wide variety of projects from ITV’s Emmerdale to the BBC’s Crimewatch, Countryfile, Panorama and the BAFTA-nominated Saving Britain’s Lives: the NHS in a Day.

He’s a former Editor Network Television at BBC English Regions and Deputy Head of BBC North. He’s a qualified pilot and air ambulance crewman. He currently employs three Leeds University BJ graduates.

In this session Ian will share his experiences at the cutting edge of trauma medicine.

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