Howie Watkins, best
known for presenting BBC1's Really Wild Show, is a full-time broadcaster
and "Performance Biologist". He divides his time between
various television and radio projects; writing; campaigning for wildlife
conservation and environmental organisations; lecturing, and running the
Art Alert Project (an environmental art co-operative). When not working, he indulges his passions for nature, music and
reading. He lives in South Wales along with three snakes and a menagerie
Animals and nature have
been life-long passions for Howie. His early years on the Island of
North Uist in Scotland may well have something to do
with this. Free to explore
at will with his dog Melanie he developed a fascination for the natural
world that has never left him.
Howie graduated from
Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1990 to find the world unprepared for a
biologist quite like him - so he moved into a zoo, Penscynor Wildlife
Park in South Wales.
He spent four years
there as the Education Co-ordinator where he was involved in everything
from running captive breeding and public education programmes to
aid endangered species, to giving impromptu talks at animal feeding
times, handling animals, running drama sessions and locking himself in
empty enclosures (he claims this was to illustrate aspects of enclosure
Reluctantly, he left
Penscynor in 1994 to give more time to his broadcast career.
Howie worked on BBC1's
long running wildlife programme The Really Wild Show from 1993 until
2000 (7 series). Howie has also been involved in a number of other projects
for the BBC's Natural History Unit, including two series of The Really
Wild Guide to Britain which toured the UK in search of wildlife and
showed viewers how to get close to animals.
After leaving the
Really Wild Show in 2000 Howie was kept busy filming two series of
Animal Planet Unleashed for Discovery Animal Planet.
During 2001 Howie reduced the amount of Broadcast
work he took on, concentrating instead on writing and lecturing projects but
squeezed in work for Channel 4, presenting their schools' programme Stop, Look, Listen and contributing a variety of news and current
affairs programmes. Including
Earth & Space for Now-TV and Get Gardening for HTV-Wales.
Recent work also
includes, in 1999, filming Crazy Creatures, a series about animals -
wild and domestic - and the people who live/work alongside them for HTV-Wales.
Also in 1999 Howie filmed a series of inserts for a BBC-Science
series about meteorology, The Essential Guide to Weather.
Other credits include;
BBC2's daily series The Countryside Hour; BBC Education's Science in
Action; BBC1's daytime series The Complete Guide to the Twentieth
Century; The Weather Show, a daily programme on BBC1.
Howie has also acted as
one of the judges and presenters for BBC Country File's competition in
association with The Radio Times to find The Photographer of the Year
in1997 and 1998.
Howie has been a
regular contributor to GMTV with a variety of reporting from live
coverage of an oil spill on the Welsh coast to presenting an Animal Week
Away from TV, Howie has
developed a number of one-man shows including Beastly Behaviour, a
two-hour show for children (and their parents). He regularly tours the UK with a one-man show which helps raise
funds for the RSPB.
Howie first got a taste
for performing at school. A
keen violinist and singer, he was a member of numerous choirs,
orchestras and ensembles. He
also sang opera professionally whilst at school. At university, Howie acted in, produced, and directed a number of
student productions, including a critically acclaimed adaptation of Dario
Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist, along with performing the odd bit
of stand-up comedy.
1997 saw Howie's first journey into the world of pantomime, playing Wishee Washee in Aladdin at the Assembly Rooms in Tunbridge Wells. His reviews included this from The Stage "...a thoroughly loveable Wishee Washee who clearly relishes this opportunity to use all his skills as an entertainer". In 1998 Howie played Jason, the Queen's henchman in Snow White at the Central Theatre, Chatham. 1999 saw a departure from the usual "friendly" roles that he is more associated with when he played one of Cinderella's Ugly Sisters in Hastings. He played Dame again in 2000, this time in Snow White at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
Howie provides a range of services for teachers, trainers, youth leaders and event organisers. These include training and INSET days, classroom teaching and event organisation. Find out more in the education section of this website.
Howie writes features
for a number of magazines including Birdlife, for young members of the
RSPB and SciTech, a magazine aimed at teenagers with an interest in
Howie co-ordinates The
Art Alert Project, a collective of artists, designers, teachers and
others all united by a desire to show that art isn't something done by
artists in studios somewhere in Art-Land, but something we can all get
involved with and enjoy.
Since the project started in 1990, Howie and the team have delivered everything from street theatre and stage shows to multi-day interactive performance art installations for a wide range of clients. All the projects have a conservation or environmental theme and use recycled materials.
If you would like copies of publicity photographs, a summary biography or you have specific questions please email. If you are in a hurry, I have placed a selection of print quality photographs online.
|[ 19/08/2003 ]|