WHO THE HELL IS KEN McGILL?


Spot the odd one out: Nick Broomfield, Molly Dineen, Ken McGill.

Actually it's a trick question; in terms of quality and personal involvement in their craft there's little to choose between the three. Recognition is a different matter. The well-deserved reputations of Broomfield and Dineen have been built in the established world of serious documentary making. Ken McGill's work is equally serious, it's just that his chief subject matter is sport.

Football, cricket, boxing; Sir Alf Ramsey, Graham Taylor, Paul Gascoigne, Ian Botham, Lennox Lewis. This man is our national sporting biographer.

McGill has a rare gift for getting close to his subjects, enhanced by his ability to shoot his own material. Perhaps the one drawback of his track record in sport is its tendency to obscure his work in other areas: the distinctive look he's given to pop promos and Channel 4's Top Tens; the discreet direction and shooting that showcased the star of Billy Connolly's World Tour and Rich Hall's Election Special.

Take a look at his body of work. Then commission him to make some more.

Gary Imlach 2004
Author & broadcaster. Winner 2005 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

AN IMPOSSIBLE JOB


In October 2005 Channel Four broadcast the "50 Greatest Documentaries" and Ken McGill's ground breaking film was 35th.

Screened as part of the Cutting Edge series on Channel Four, This film chronicled the most devastating two years in the career of the former England football manager Graham Taylor. 6.3 million viewers choked on their cocoa as a nightmare unfolded and the media had a field day both before and after transmission. The television critic of the Daily Mirror wrote, "It was a moving, macabre and majestic piece of television which left me thinking about the cruel irony of our country". The film went on to win a Royal Television Society award and was hailed by the judges as a "masterpiece".

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION.

THE FIGHT BACK


The first film in the "Gazza Trilogy" mapped Gascoigne's life after his disastrous knee injury sustained during the 1991 FA Cup Final. From the surgeons table, to his first goal 14 months later, McGill was Gascoigne's trusted confidant. The film revealed Gascoigne's steely determination to return to full fitness, but also showed his vulnerability to depression. Networked on ITV and repeated on Channel Four.

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION.

GAZZA'S COMING HOME


6.3 million people watched as Paul Gascoigne bared his soul to the nation on subjects as diverse as alcoholic binges with his team mates, to his pathological fear of being on his own. As Ian Wooldridge wrote in the Daily Mail "Here was a dim child attempting to explain the meaning of his life. There wasn't any, outside football, a point quite brilliantly conveyed by the maker of this outstanding documentary". For Channel 4.

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION.

GAZZA


McGill really got inside Paul Gascoigne's head for the 9 months it took to make this film. Gascoigne went to China to ply his trade as a last desperate attempt to prolong his waning career, but he had demons on his shoulder. His estrangement from his wife and kids, his psychological tics, his battle with the bottle, and his looming retirement from the game he needs, all came crowding in on the alien streets of China. This film tells how he fought the demons and came out the other end a different man. The Sunday Times wrote...."Without exploiting this damaged, difficult man, this film depicts the horrible truth behind the tabloid headlines, another casualty of a game that divorces mental and physical fitness with destructive results". For BBC3.

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION

THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH


McGill became a member of the Lennox Lewis boxing team as they prepared for the biggest fight of his life, the unification of the heavyweight championship. From the initial announcement, to the post fight press conference, this film captured the drama of one of the most controversial fights of the century. Produced, directed and photographed by Ken McGill for Universal Pictures. Broadcast on BBC1.

KEN McGILL FILMS.

BOTHAM'S ASHES


McGill's telling of one of England's greatest sports stories was a great critical success for Channel Four when it was broadcast in July 2001. Beautifully photographed by the producer/director, McGill was able to elicit fascinating interviews with the men who mattered in the summer of 1981. The television critic of The Daily Telegraph wrote: "Botham's Ashes...provided more sheer pleasure than any other recent television programme...it was made with unusual care and skill." Nominated for a Royal Television Society award. Broadcast twice by Channel 4.

SUNSET & VINE LTD.

SIR ALF


The moving and compelling story of England's greatest football manager. The Daily Telegraph wrote "...his story was placed within the context of some fascinating social history and told with genuine passion." The Times stated "...Ken McGill's poignant biography of Sir Alf Ramsey, was a sharp reminder of how great Ramsey's achievement actually was, and a reminder of what a mean-spirited, churlish place mid-20th-century Britain could be." For Channel Four Television.

KEN McGILL FILMS

BILLY CONNOLLY'S WORLD TOUR


Toured England, Ireland and Wales with Billy Connolly for 8 weeks. Photographed and directed by McGill, this visually stunning, 8 part series was a huge success with both viewers and critics. Nominated for a National Television Award 2002. Broadcast in the spring of 2002 on BBC1.

TICKETY BOO PRODUCTIONS.

IT'S ONLY A GAME


This short film received rave reviews when broadcast on Channel Four in November 1998. A affectionate look at a collection of football devotees and their sometimes worrying obsession with the game. With sizable contributions from Nick Hornby we visit Di Anderson and her full size cardboard cut-out of Stuart Pearce. Mick Derby, who needed an articulated lorry to roll over him before you could prevent him watching his beloved Derby County, and Dave Downs who not only close marks people on the bus, but thinks he's devised a system to guide a space craft from the centre circle of Reading FC to an alternative universe.

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION.

RAY OF HOPE


Ray Kennedy is 39 years old and endures the agony and frustration of Parkinson's Disease. He also happens to be one of the most successful and admired footballers England has ever produced. This film tells the moving story of Ray's early life and spectacular career, culminating in his struggle with a cruel affliction, and his hope for a cure. This award winning documentary was screened by Channel Four.

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION.

BRIT SCHOOL


Ken McGill spent seven month filming Britain's only free Performing Arts and Technology school. It's a school like no other, with everyone taking academic subjects as well as producing actors, dancers, film makers, artists and music stars. Based in South London, it's one of the few places where the staff have to throw students out each night. For CBBC.

TOUCH PRODUCTIONS.

RICH HALL'S ELECTION SPECIAL


Three weeks in Montana USA with comedians Rich Hall and Mike Wilmott produced this little gem of a film. Ostensibly a study of US politics, Hall and Wilmott created a comedy classic. Set in stunning wilderness, Ken McGill was able to produce awesome visuals and comedy drama of the first order. Broadcast on BBC 4 and BBC 2 on the eve of the 2004 US elections.

OPEN MIKE PRODUCTIONS.

TOP TEN SERIES

McGill was the links director on this popular Channel Four music strand. The artists include; Phil Jupitus, Paul Whitehouse, Malcolm McLaren, Errol Brown, Suggs, Cerys Matthews, Betty Boo, Roy "Chubby" Brown, Status Quo, Antonio Fargas, Julie Goodyear, Richard & Judy, Al Murray, Simon Cowell, Foxxy, Harry Enfield, Richard Bacon & Vernon Kaye.

CHRYSALIS TELEVISION.

CHEQUERED HISTORY


A film celebrating the 75th anniversary of the infamous Italian road race the Mille Miglia. It charts the glorious and ultimately fatal history of the original 1000 mile dash from Brescia to Rome and back, through the experience of travelling the route of the modern version of the race, This visually stunning film compares the heroism and madness of the old race against the pomposity of the new one and is at times both hilarious and profoundly sad. Weep at the sight of wrecked Ferrari's, gasp at some of the most gorgeous scenery Italy has to offer. For RTE television.

VTV LTD.