Available Light

About Us

Available Light was established by David Parker in 1994 and run jointly since 1997 with Wendy McLean. We make high-rating and award-winning factual series and single documentaries for network and digital broadcasters.

Our archive-led social history documentaries for the BBC have included The Golden Age of Steam (2 x 60’), Shooting the War (3 x 60’), The Golden Age of Canals (1 x 60'), Health Before the NHS (2 x 60’) and Mud, Sweat & Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (4 x 60’).

We’ve worked with presenters like amateur wildlife film-maker Johnny Kingdom in over twenty five hours of programmes for the BBC and ITV, historian Lucy Worsley in The Lost World of Dorothy Hartley (1 x 60’ BBC) and artisan baker Tom Herbert, In Search of the Perfect Loaf (1 x 60’ BBC).

Our observational series have included neurosurgery in Brain Doctors (6 x 30’ ITV) and life inside a prison in Banged Up (6 x 30’ ITV).

At the heart of our programmes are strong, personal stories told with warmth, wit, imagination and insight.

Latest News

  • David Parker is now doing illustrated talks Click here

Available Light in the Press

Health Before the NHS

A combination of Robert Winston’s authoritative narration, archive footage and first-class research in tracking down real stories turn this into a model of good documentary-making.The Times

This fascinating and affecting film looks back at the years during which health provision in the UK vanquished darkness and edged towards light.Time Out

There are some terrifying stories in this new two-parter - including a midwife who worked part-time as a chimney sweep… universal healthcare is a remarkable privilege.Daily Mail

Johnny Kingdom

A star is born.The Times

Priceless… a worthy addition to the natural history world.Daily Mirror

Johnny is endearingly bonkers.Evening Standard

Johnny Kingdom might yet become a hero of our time.Daily Telegraph

Johnny Kingdom died on 6th September 2018. A force of nature, a pioneer, the spirit of Exmoor. Loved and admired by so many, and our dear friend and colleague of twenty years.

Download Johnny's obituary

Shooting the War

This admirable new three-part series offers a unique view of the Second World war.The Times

Evocative humanising stuff - family stories which happen to document the build up to war rather than visa versa.Time Out

Stories like this leave you with a patchwork view of history, more confusing but ultimately more true.The Daily Express

Mud Sweat and Tractors

This series on the history of modern agriculture is the surprise of the week. Fascinating and wonderful.The Times

Strange but true - in the 1950's, strawberries were virtually the size of apples. It is a fact you can verify for yourself in this excellent series.The Guardian

This is a brilliant documentary series: with its use of archive home-movie it is both a loving and moving memorial to farming days long gone…The Times

The Golden Age of Steam Railways

The story of the preservation of little narrow gauge railways that once served British industries is told in the first episode of this enjoyable two parter.Daily Telegraph

This charming film.The Times

One magnificent eccentric goes in search of another.The Guardian

Available Light at the Awards

The Grierson Awards

  • Ray Gosling OAP: winner, Most Entertaining Documentary
  • Mud Sweat and Tractors: shortlisted, Best Historical Documentary
  • Tony Benn's Defining Moments: shortlisted, Most Entertaining Documentary

Focal International

  • The Story of the Sea: shortlisted - Best use of Footage in a Factual Programme
  • Shooting the War: shortlisted - Best use of Footage in a Factual Programme

The Royal Television Society

  • Building Wonders: winner - Graphics / Title Sequence
  • Brunel's Big Achievements: winner - 5 - 11 Years
  • Dead Man Talking: winner - Best Regional Independent Documentary
  • Way with Words Website: winner - Interactive
  • My Peeps: winner - Best Independent

BAFTA - Children's awards

  • Lesson Starters: shortlisted
  • Brunel's Britain: shortlisted
  • Grid Club: winner

Contact Us

Available Light Productions Ltd.
The Create Centre,
Smeaton Road,

Tel: 07774 772 301