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University answers ‘emergency’ call for TV company

Posted on 22 January 2016

A television production company has used editing facilities at the University of York to put the finishing touches to a new documentary series for BBC One.

Emergency Rescue Down Under (credit:

Independent production company Air TV is behind the new series Emergency Rescue Down Under which starts on 25 January.

The series focuses on incidents dealt with by members of the rescue services in Australia, from flying doctors in the outback to lifeguards on Bondi Beach. But the 15 programmes were put together entirely in an editing suite in the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV), 12,000 miles from where it was filmed.

As well as being based in the Department for six months, the company has also provided a work placement for Hope Kemp, a second year undergraduate student in TFTV. 

Ian Cundall, who is executive producer on the project, is a former Deputy Head of BBC North but left the Corporation a year ago to set up Air TV with fellow ex-BBC man Andy Joynson, who is the series co-producer. Both qualified air crew, they specialise in programmes requiring aerial filming. Air TV had a crew in Australia for nearly six months last year shooting material for the series.

Ian Cundall, whose other programme credits include Helicopter Heroes and Inside Out, said: “The facilities in TFTV were perfect for us and we were able to concentrate on putting together a great series.

“Having Hope working with us was a real bonus.  She did an awful lot of the preparatory work for the programme and it was a good extension to what she was doing on her course in TFTV.”

Hope said:  “I had a fantastic time working with the Air TV team. They were very generous with their time and I was able to get a real insight into the TV industry, as well as getting to work with the team and learn new post-production techniques.”

The location of the editing suite and Hope’s involvement were not the only connections with the University York – series film editor Warren Baxter is a York Psychology graduate.

Though they have now moved out of the suite at TFTV, Air TV have established a new headquarters and post-production centre a short distance away at The Catalyst run by York Science Park.

Professor Andrew Higson, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television said: "We are proud to be involved with Air TV, and Emergency Rescue Down Under represents yet another project in the growing list of broadcast TV and feature film projects we have been able to support.  Doing so gives us the ability to provide students like Hope and others with valuable industry experience working with professionals using our own high-end facilities. The income we generate is invested in equipment required for teaching."

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