Proper Job Films

Launched in 2020 Proper Job aims to create innovative, thought provoking and entertaining content in specialist factual, documentary and drama. From a standing start we already have a series commission from BBC2 and are working closely with C4.

With a track record of over 25 years of experience we work with major broadcasters and streamers including BBC, C4, ITV, C5, Netflix, Smithsonian, PBS, NBC, Arte, Discovery and Nat Geo.


Harvey LilleyHarvey Lilley. Harvey is a Bristol-based, award-winning filmmaker with more than 25 years’ experience. He is the winner of Chicago TV Festival, Cine Gold Eagle, New York TV Festival, Best of Festival at US TV Festival, International Wildlife Film Festival, Indie Award and is an Emmy and Panda nominee.

He specialises in documentary and drama documentary and has previously worked for broadcasters and production companies including BBC, NBC, C4, ITV, PBS, Universal, Left Bank, Lion, Atlantic, Wall to Wall, Shed, Darlow Smithson and Brook Lapping amongst others.

His work includes The Last Tommy, a series of drama documentaries for BBC1 following the last surviving veterans of WW1 that made 109-year-old Harry Patch a household name. It was described by the Guardian as ‘The whole thing reminded me of watching a beautiful sunset over the sea. You don’t want to look away in case, when you look back, it’s gone.’

The Coronation, with the Queen in conversation on tv for the first time, garnered 10 million viewers in the UK. It was the highest rating new factual programme on BBC1 for 18 months. The New York Times described it as the ‘ultimate TV prize’. The Telegraph described it as ‘remarkable’, the Times as ‘enchanting’ and the Guardian said it ‘will likely be the first and last time we glimpse the real Monarch.’

Patrick BishopPatrick Bishop. Patrick is one of the country’s leading military historians. He is the author of six Sunday Times top ten best sellers, including Fighter Boys, Bomber Boys, 3 Para and Air Force Blue. He is a former foreign correspondent who spent 25 years covering conflicts around the world. 
He has been producer and consultant on several film projects including BBC1’s Bomber Boys,  RAF at 100 and C4’s The Dambusters’ Great Escape on how 617 and 9 Squadrons finally sank the battleship Tirpitz after more than 30 attempts from land sea and air. 
His most recent work includes The Reckoning, a reconstruction of the 1942 killing of the Zionist radical Avraham Stern  – ‘Masterful’ -The Economist. ‘Superb’ - Mail on Sunday. ‘Riveting’ - Literary Review. ‘Fascinating’ Boston Globe. ‘Gripping’ The Spectator. ‘The enthralling story of a blood vendetta… Bishop’s detective story offers a vivid portrait of the fraught, doomed world of the Palestine Mandate’ - Daily Telegraph. ‘Has all the ingredients of a Hollywood thriller’ - Washington Post.

Recent projects

Our first projects have gone down a storm with more to come.

The Real Peaky Blinders

‘A great documentary series. The research here was quality, the facts backed up with evidence.’ The Times.

Proper Job’s first commission is a two-part series for BBC2 on the Real Peaky Blinders; the history behind the highly successful drama. The series explores the Victorian inner-city gangs that terrorised Britain’s industrial cities in the late 19th Century and the early 20th century gangsters from Birmingham and London that gave rise to organised gangsterism in the UK including the real Sheldon family (the Shelbys in the drama), the real Alfie Solomon, the real Darby Sabini and the closest Britain came to having its own Al Capone, the real Billy Kimber.

Authur Morris
Courtesy West Midlands Police Museum

The Real Peaky Blinders

Falklands War; The Untold Story.

Proper Job’s second commission is a feature-length documentary for C4 on the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

‘Harvey Lilley’s riveting, unexpectedly critical documentary. A remarkable film. Mesmerising TV.’ Times.

’This overdue C4 tell-all. The documentary pulled no punches.’ Telegraph.

‘This thorough, rigorous documentary is an exhaustive and engaging account. A gripping narrative. The candour and scope are impressive.’ Guardian.

‘A superb, warts and all account, full of backbiting brigadiers and covert operations.’ Radio Times

Falklands War - The Untold Story

C4 Emerging Indie Fund

Proper Job is now the recipient of C4’s emerging indie fund to encourage collaboration between the company and the channel to develop projects and grow the business.

Proper Job Films

Past projects

Italy’s Invisible Cities – Naples

1 × 60 for BBC1

Using the latest in 3D scanning technologies, Alexander Armstrong explores the underground and underwater world of Naples to reveal the secrets of its 2000-year-old history. From Roman pleasure palaces to half-forgotten super-volcanoes and Neapolitan citadels of the dead. With BBC Studios.

‘A hell of a story… an adventurous and gripping glimpse of an unseen Italy.’ Telegraph.

In this clip Alexander explores the two thousand seat Roman theatre of Herculaneum buried under thousands of tons of pyroclastic flow when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The theatre was only re-discovered by 18th and 19th Century treasure hunters.

The Coronation

60-minute special for BBC1/ Smithsonian/ ABC on The Coronation featuring The Queen. With Atlantic Productions.

‘This scoop was a real gem. Five stars.’ Daily Mail. ‘Absolute treat.’ The Sun.

The Queen shows her affection for the Imperial State Crown.

The Last Tommy

3 × 60 BBC1.

The stories of the last surviving combatants of WW1 in their own words. The youngest was 102, the eldest 109. Three years in the making and following their lives as they reflect on their participation in the war to end all wars. With Quickfire Media.

‘Haunting… brilliant.’ Sunday Telegraph. ‘Impeccable.’ Daily Telegraph. ‘Truly remarkable’, TV Times.

Then aged 105, Harry Patch, who became Britain’s last surviving Tommy, describes his experience of going over the top for the first time.

Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure Episode 1

1 × 60 for ITV 1

Judi explores the pristine rainforest of the Danum Valley; one of the last bastions of South eastern Asian wildlife. With Atlantic Productions.

‘Magical.’ Mail. ‘One of our greatest living actors on an extraordinary journey in Borneo.’ Mirror. ‘Real life drama in Borneo – Dench proves to be a real eco-warrior’. Express. ‘Dame Judi even swings through the trees as part of her magical adventure.’ Sunday Mail.

Judi gets to explore the jungle canopy in a tree that is nearly twice the height of Nelson’s Column.

Italy’s Invisible Cities – Venice

1 × 60 for BBC1

Using the latest in 3D scanning technologies, Alexander Armstrong explores the underground and underwater world of Venice that reveals the secrets of its 2000-year-old history. From the secrets of its canals and how the city remains standing in a swamp to the hidden spaces in the Doges Palace that helped forge a state that was one of the Mediterranean’s greatest empires. With BBC Studios.

‘Excellent.’ Observer.

Xander explores the island where quarantine was invented – the forty day of isolation that protected the city from plague.

The Vikings Uncovered

1 × 90 for BBC1

Using satellite archaeology to reveal new sites in Scotland and Iceland, Dan Snow follows in the footsteps of Viking explorers as they headed west and became the first Europeans to reach the New World, hundreds of years before Columbus. With BBC Studios.

‘Impressive’. The Sun. ‘More fun than a 90min research documentary has any right to be.’ FT.

In York, Dan meets archaeologist Dr Andrew Jones to explore the Crown Jewels of ancient human poo.

Spitfire Women

1 × 60 for BBC2

The story of the remarkable 166 women who flew combat aircraft from factories to frontline bases in WW2 often without navigational aids making it one of the most dangerous jobs in the war. They were the first women in British history to achieve equal pay. With Love Productions.

‘The forgotten story of the women who made the Spitfire roar.’ Telegraph.

Mary Ellis and Freydis Sharland describe how they felt on D-Day. Freydis had already lost six cousins and a brother.

Bobby Moore

90 minute dramatised doc for BBC2.

England’s greatest ever footballer and his then unknown struggle with testicular cancer prior to the 1966 World Cup in an era when nine out of ten died from the disease. With Quickfire Media.

‘A great watch: few fans will be able to end the programme without a tear in their eye.’ Radio Times. ‘A fitting tribute to a national legend’ Daily Mail.

Ray Winstone and Bobby’s cousin describe Bobby’s birth in the East End at the height of the Blitz.

Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure Episode 2

1 × 60 for ITV 1

Judi explores the Kinabatangan river in Borneo’s Sabah province. Once a vast wildlife corridor, it is now threatened by palm oil plantations and environmental degradation. Judi explores the projects fighting back to conserve its environment and its wildlife. With Atlantic Productions.

‘Spectacular.’ Guardian. ‘Eye popping’. Telegraph.

After a night-time storm Judi joins Malaysian scientist Kerisha Kntayya to help her catch a crocodile or two.

Secrets Of A Suffragette

1 × 60 C4

Using the latest forensic techniques, Clare Balding re-examines the remarkable story of militant suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. Did she really intend to commit suicide by throwing herself under the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby? With Lion Television.

RAF at 100

1 × 90 for BBC1

Ewan McGregor and his brother Colin explore the RAF’s 100 year history, flying some of the planes and meeting some of the people. With Lion Television.

‘A remarkable 90 minuter’. Times. ‘Soul stirring, supersonic ride.’ Telegraph ‘As a history lesson it was mesmerising.’ Times.

In this clip they meet Joy Lofthouse and Mary Ellis, two of the ATA pilots who ferried warplanes from the factory to frontline bases in WW2.

Judi Dench; My Passion for Trees

1 × 60 BBC1 Special.

Oscar winner, Judi explores her passion for trees throughout the seasons ranging from her beloved garden to some of the oldest trees in the country. She discovers how trees are key to our battle against global warming and how they are often connected through a wood-wide web. With Atlantic Productions.

‘Joyous and gorgeously filmed.’ Daily Express. ‘Touching and Life Affirming.’ Mail on Sunday. ‘Magical film’. Telegraph. ‘Fascinating and extraordinary, the ultimate merging of national treasure and national treasure.’ Guardian.

With scientist Alex Metcalf and his listening device, Judi discovers how trees ‘breathe’.

Bomber Boys

1× 90 BBC1

Ewan McGregor and his brother, former RAF pilot Colin, explore how the young men of Bomber Command undertook one of the most dangerous jobs in the war and how the campaign, controversially, led to the carpet bombing of many German cities. With Lion Television.

‘A fine, fitting tribute.’ Telegraph. ‘Breathtakingly good’. Chris Evans R2. ‘A splendid piece of filmmaking’, Sunday Express.

In Hamburg, Ewan and Colin meet survivors of the RAF’s fire-bombing of the city where thousands perished in the inferno.

The Dambusters’ Great Escape

1 × 60 C4

New evidence on how the legendary but defenceless 617 and 9 squadrons sank the battleship Tirpitz at the thirty third attempt. The story told from both sides. With Lion Television.

‘Gripping’. Guardian.

Kurt Schulze and Frank Tilley reflect on how the sinking and the war affected them.

Rome’s Invisible City

1 × 60 BBC1 Using scanning technology Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott explore the hidden spaces of the eternal city. With BBC Studios.

‘Breath-taking documentary’ Telegraph.

In this clip, they explore the 2000 year old Roman underground Virgo aqueduct that still feeds the Trevi fountain today.



Stills – Freddie Claire

Proper Job Films