Talesmith Producer Heather Cruickshank Selected as 2024 'Broadcast Hotshot'
I'm delighted for Heather. She has gone above and beyond expectations to deliver for the series and richly deserves this recognition.
Serena Davies
Showrunner, 'Secrets of the Penguins'

Heather Cruickshank, who has been working at Talesmith for two years on the premium natural history series 'Secrets of the Penguins' is joining a cohort of talented professionals selected by Broadcast Magazine as a 2024 Broadcast Hotshot.

The article can be viewed in full here.

The award is given by the magazine to those who are more than simply good at their jobs, demonstrating incredible skills, ingenuity, and dedication to making great TV.

Heather's incredible work for Talesmith has seen her spend 24 weeks on location in Antarctica, including the last two New Year periods and one Christmas. Her work paid off spectacularly, producing a shoot that captured extraordinary never-seen-before footage of emperor penguin chicks jumping off a 50ft cliff. The clip went viral on National Geographic's digital platforms, becoming their most viewed TikTok in history and their most watched animal Instagram clip ever.

Heather Cruickshank wins industry recognition for her outstanding work on Secrets of the Penguins
PubLished on
June 27, 2024
Industry recognition announcement
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After 7 years working on science and geology series for Discovery, Nat Geo, and PBS, in 2019 Heather switched tack, going back to her academic roots in zoology, and moved onto a natural history and conservation one-off at BBC Science. She was part of a small but immensely dedicated team and she leapt at the opportunity to highlight challenges in ocean conservation with leading scientists.

Heather drew on years of organisational experience to set up ambitious dive expedition shoots around the world, and ended up stuck on a ship sailing back from Antarctica as the world went into lockdown in early 2020. Heroes of the Ocean proved pivotal for her career, and since then she has moved more solidly into natural history finding a niche in polar filming after heading back to the sub-Antarctic for the Emmy-award-nominated Our Universe for Netflix.

In two years at Talesmith, Heather has worked as field producer on National Geographic's upcoming epic Secrets of the Penguins, producing across 2 out of 3 episodes; working with scientific researchers, securing access, directing multi camera teams and working in the edit.

Heather puts everything into setting up some of the most ambitious and complex expedition shoots in remote locations around the world and successfully leads teams to capture never-before-filmed behaviours. In particular, she location and edit produced a scene for Secrets of the Penguins where hundreds of emperor penguin chicks are seen diving off a 50ft cliff. This new behaviour was released by National Geographic on their social media channels , becoming Nat Geo’s best ever performing Tik Tok clip and its most viewed animal Instagram clip in history.  

As a producer Heather is extremely dedicated. She has spent 24 weeks on location for the penguins project, including working in Antarctica across two New Years Days and one Christmas.

For information about 'Broadcast Hotshots', please contact Rebecca Cooney rebecca.cooney@broadcastnow.co.uk