Club Newsclubnight

Nick Handel – Former BBC Producer


The clubs June meeting began on a sad note when John Thompson announced that our fellow club member Alan Hussey had sadly passed away after a brave fight against ill health. Alan was a former BBC Cameraman and Sound Engineer who shared and contributed a lot of his skills and knowledge within the club. He was a highly thought of member and he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. A one minute silence took place to honour him. The film ‘Framed’ was then shown which Alan Directed, Produced, and Scripted, he also had an acting role in the film. It won the 2015 Albany Shield Competition.


At this month’s Surrey Border Movie Makers meeting we welcomed former BBC Series Producer and Director  Nick Handel. Nick explained that as a young boy he was always interested in his Fathers 8mm camera which he was often allowed to use to make short films, it was those early days exploring the world of filming and producing which introduced him at the age of 18 to his first job in the BBC Radio Newsroom

He then moved, as a journalist, to BBC Radio London and from there to the national Light Entertainment department where he created a show for Radios 1 and 2 involving three puppets, one of which was the lovable and well known cheeky fox ‘Basil Brush’. From here his career flourished and he went on to work under the great BBC ONE Controller Bill Cotton. He was the Executive Producer of `Children in Need’ for 4 years, he also worked alongside Dame Esther Rantzen on ‘That’s Life’, Dame Esther originally worked in Sound Effects and Nick will always be remembered for discovering and filming ‘Prince’ the famous talking dog of “Sausages” fame.

As Nick progressed within the BBC he accumulated many interesting stories and skills, several of which he shared with the club audience. During his career he has gone on to train Producers and Directors at the BBC, hold Drama and Documentary Courses at Elstree Studios, he is also a children’s author and has produced a very successful book called ’ Newskids on the Net’.

Following the coffee break Nick discussed how to make a really good Documentary, including how to gradually release an interesting storyline, how to interview correctly to achieve a natural result and also how to create a more effective editing technique. He supplemented this by showing several examples of films. Everyone in the audience learnt something new and I am sure we will welcome Nick back for another of his extremely good talks in the near future.