Q: Tell us about your role in the Hong Kong office?

A: National Geographic Channel (NGC) wanted to make changes in its programming and overall business and channel strategies. As part of that, they needed a head of production to increase local production across all our 14 territories. I’m kind of an ambassador for local production on NGC across 14 territories.

Q: NGC as a whole seems to be moving away from one-offs and going into series, particularly those that are returnable, and series that are personalitydriven. Is that the same for Asian commissions?

A: Yes, definitely. I think everybody wants returnable series because there’s a lot of value in them. We will do certain specials or one-offs if it’s a very strong story, very topical or a major anniversary but I think what we’re saying is we’ve got to prioritise developing returnable series because that’s how production can make a more significant contribution to channel performance. If you have a hit series, then obviously people keep coming back and over the course of one month, two months; you get a significant amount in your ratings.

Q: Some series like Strippers: Cars for Cash, Doomsday Preppers and Family Guns seem to be “lighter”. Are you concerned about that?

A: Not concerned about that and I do think it’s becoming lighter, although I don’t know if ‘lighter’ is accurate. It’s lighter compared to the traditional perception of what National Geographic is, but everything has to change and expand and keep up with programming trends. I don’t think it is true to say that if we become more fun, it doesn’t stay true to what National Geographic is about. It’s still about exploration in many sense of the word. It’s just that not every show is going to be a Great Migrations-type of special. We can’t fill the schedule with the Titanic anniversary all the time.

Q: How has the Asian output changed since you took over?