Michael Houldey

Family name: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
7 Jul 2020
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 

Horizontal tabs



Michael Houldey


Executive and Series Producer, Producer and Director, Tutor and Mentor

EXECUTIVE  PRODUCER  –  My Beautiful Broken Brain   Documentary feature (84 min). Director Sophie Robinson. Acquired by Netflix. NOMINATED FOR EMMY 2017. Winner of prestigious DOCU award and  Best Director, 'The Female Gaze', at International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam, November 2014. Best Film, Iranian Science Film Festival.  Also shown at Sheffield International Documentary Festival, Istanbul Festival and Zagreb Dox. USA premiere at South By South West Festival in Austin Texas 2016







MY HOLIDAY HOSTAGE HELL                                           Prospect Pictures for Virgin            6 x 60

Drama documentary series about British travellers kidnapped in India, Bolivia, Chile, Iran, West Papua, Liberia.  Also directed the film made in Bolivia


TRAWLERMEN  Series Two                                                                     BBC-1                           5 x 30                     

Narrator Peter Capaldi.  TX  at 7.00pm on five consecutive evenings Trawlermen 2   was seen by an audience averaging over 4 million. All five films featured in the Broadcast Top Ten Factual programmes and the series scored a BBC A.I. of 82.5%


‘Brilliantly made and fascinating’   ‘Compelling to watch, undoubtedly hellish to actually experience’   

The Guardian

Nominated for Maritime Foundation Media Award and Royal Television Society Midland Centre Best Documentary Award, 2007


SOLDIER HUSBAND DAUGHTER DAD                  BBC1             8 x 30          

Narrator Damian Lewis.  Unique access to a British Army Regiment on active duty in Basra and their wives and families at home.  A series which uncompromisingly illustrates the human stories of life and death which lie behind the political decisions.


‘A side of the war most of us don’t see much – small picture, not big picture.  Gunner Samantha’s war, not Tony Blair’s war.  I wonder if an insurgent sniper with Sam in his sights would have pulled the trigger if he had watched this programme’  Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

'In the way of the best observational documentary, the film accumulates striking scenes and speech…  a great example of what the longer, slower view can add to news coverage' Mark Lawson


YOUR LIFE IN THEIR HANDS                              BBC1 3 x 60

Narrator Barbara Flynn.  Three of Britain’s top surgeons undertake groundbreaking and life saving operations.  The series was made with the full collaboration of patients and their families often facing agonising decisions.


It’s hard to imagine this stunning medical series won’t sweep every factual-documentary award going this year’  The Independent

‘This is programme making of the highest order’ Sunday Telegraph

Winner, Royal Television Society Award














AIRPORT             BBC1           26 x 30'

A ‘facelift’ for the high rating series, introducing graduate cinematographers from the National Film School, original music by a new young composer, single stories and filming abroad.



HARROW – THE SCHOOL ON THE HILL        ITV-Carlton           8 x 30'


Everyday life and challenges in one of Britain’s most famous public schools, featuring the Headmaster and staff, 12 year old new boys and 18 year old seniors and their parents.



GIVING UP FOR GOOD                 BBC1 4 x 40'            

Alcoholics and nicotine addicts allow the camera team and the audience to share their attempts to break the habit. The series features first time access to The Priory’s clinic in Nottingham.



ZOO                   BBC1 26 x 30'            

Intimate and visually powerful series about the obsessions of zookeepers and the fascinating and sometimes eccentric behaviour of the animals in their care.



CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL (Alder Hey, Liverpool)             BBC1           40 x 30'

Long term access to the doctors and surgeons and to the young patients and their families at Alder Hey resulted in a loyal audience and high primetime viewing figures, leading to regular re-commissions

Nominated Winner, Best Factual Series, Television and Radio Industries Club Award

Best Factual Series, National Television Awards and TV Quick Awards





THE SEARCH                                                                                                                                 Channel 4

First programme in a seven part ‘Cultural Treasure Hunt’  presented by Jamie Theakston.

Filmed in Italy                                                                                      


HOPE FOR HELEN                                                                                                 QED Special, BBC1

Sports broadcaster Helen Rollason’s fight against cancer


GULF BABIES                                                                                                Panorama, BBC1

Investigation into children damaged by Gulf War Syndrome


GIRL FRIDAY                                                                                                                        BBC1

Joanna Lumley as a castaway on an island off Madagascar


WAR ARTIST                                                                                                 Forty Minutes, BBC2

Glasgow artist Peter Howson’s adventures in Bosnia


MOSCOW GOLD                                                                                                  Forty Minutes, BBC2

British businessmen are trapped during the siege of The White House


ONE FAMILY, TWO LANGUAGES                                                                                                   BBC2

Footballer (now manager) Ian Holloway and his three deaf children


BUS STOP                                                                                                                                     Channel 4

Day and night portrait of Victoria Coach Station     








SANTOS TO SANTA CRUZ                                           Great Railway Journeys BBC2 Author St Aubin de Teran travels from Brazil to Bolivia      


THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL                                                  Great Journeys, BBC2

Photographer Philip Jones Griffiths returns to Vietnam


SILVER TRACKS                           Great Journeys, BBC2

Billy Bragg and Andy Kershaw on a musical journey from Bolivia to Chile


THE SACRED WAY                                                                                   Travellers Tales, Channel 4

Michael Wood takes an historical walk from Athens


RETURN TO THE CAMPS and RETURN TO GAZA                         Granada for ITV                                     

British surgeon Dr Pauline Cutting revisits Palestinian camps in Lebanon and patients in Gaza


WELCOME  TO BIRMINGHAM                                                                            Central for ITV

Caribbean born writer Caryl Phillips visits Birmingham, Alabama


THE MIAMI DRUGS WAR                                     Thames for ITV

Drug Enforcement Agents track and arrest cocaine and marijuana smugglers


THE ONLY IN AMERICA TRILOGY                                                   Thames for ITV

Detectives (Nominated, US International Emmy Award) - made in the South Bronx

Cowboy  - made in Texas.  Going Home – made in Boston and Alabama


THE CHRISTIANS                                                                 Granada for ITV

The history of Christianity around the world, presented by Bamber Gascoigne


A YEAR IN THE LIFE  – (Winner, SFTA Best Doc Series)                                                          BBC2





MY HOLIDAY HOSTAGE HELL                                                                            Prospect Pictures for Virgin 1

Filmed in Bolivia.  True story of mother and daughter kidnapped.


OUT OF LOVE (with Juliet Stevenson)                                                                      Screenplay, BBC2

A love story with a tragic ending set in the hills of North Wales, based on fact


CHALKFACE (created by John Godber)                                                                          BBC2

Series about teachers and their pupils in a Birmingham comprehensive


TROUBLEMAKERS (with  Brenda Fricker and David Calder)                                                                        ITV

Drama and documentary about truancy





WORKING CLASS HERO                                                                                     EMI-DVD,BBC,Worldwide TV

90 minute film about John Lennon to commemorate his 65th birthday


DARKER THAN BLUE                                                                                           Omnibus, BBC1

Film about singer/composer Curtis Mayfield made before he died. Writer: Caryl Phillips


IN SEARCH OF CABARET and THE ILLUSIONS CONCERT                                     Granada for ITV

Singer Ute Lemper visits Berlin and Paris and performs songs of Dietrich and Piaf


BEETHOVEN’S TENTH                                                                                   Granada for ITV

The recently discovered manuscript is performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic






BOLSHOI BALLET SCHOOL                                                                                             Granada for ITV

Young dancers from Moscow visit and perform in Manchester


THE   BOLSHOI  BALLET (Nominated, BAFTA Huw Wheldon Award)                               Omnibus, BBC1

Two hour special – with dancers of yesterday, today and tomorrow and rare archive



SONDHEIM’S  FOLLIES (Nominated, BAFTA Huw Wheldon Award)                            Omnibus, BBC1

A remarkable stellar cast rehearse and perform a concert version of the cult musical


JUNO AND AVOS                                                                                                              Channel 4

A bold and controversial musical performed in Russian in a Moscow theatre


ELKIE AND CO                                                                                             Thames for ITV

Singer Elkie Brooks provides a behind the scenes insight into the world of music promotion


MARDI GRAS FUNK                                                                                                      Central for ITV

Film about the famous New Orleans Carnival featuring Dr John and the Neville Brothers


BEJART + BOULEZ  =  BALLET                                                                                                Omnibus,BBC1                              

Choreographer Maurice Bejart takes his ballet company from Brussels to perform at La Scala Milan


BETWEEN TODAY AND YESTERDAY                                                                              Omnibus, BBC1               

Singer/composer Alan Price creates a new album based on his Jarrow homeland



(BAFTA nomination representing OMNIBUS                                                                  Omnibus,  BBC1

Judy Garland’s story, with Liza Minnelli, Mickey Rooney and others


LIFE IS FOR THE LIVING                                                                                                            Omnibus,BBC1               

Humphrey Bogart recalled by Lauren Bacall, John Huston and others



(Nominated, BAFTA Best Arts Documentary)                                                                  Omnibus, BBC1            

The  life and songs of Edith Piaf, featuring Charles Aznavour and others