I've written and presented lots of series and one-off documentaries for British television and radio, including BBC2’s primetime series The Great Interior Design Challenge; BBC Radio 4’s regular series The Design Dimension; Channel 4’s The Secret Life of Buildings, in which I looked at the effects of architecture and spaces on our brains and bodies; and BBC2’s seven-part series Saving Britain’s Past, where I examined the UK’s obsession with heritage.
From 2006 to 2016, I also wrote and presented all sorts of short and full-length documentaries
on architecture, cities and design for BBC television’s flagship weekly arts programme,
The Culture Show.
—The Great Interior Design Challenge
Tom presents BBC2's primetime The Great Interior Design Challenge (Studio Lambert), now on its fourth series, the search for the UK’s best amateur interior designers. The designers have 48 hours and £1,000 to redesign rooms in some of the country’s most beautiful and fascinating architectural settings.
—Archive on 4: Pevsner – Through Outsider’s Eyes
BBC Radio 4
Tom goes in search of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the art historian and perennial outsider who did more than anyone else in recent memory to open our eyes to the art and architecture of Britain.
—Rooms with a View
BBC Radio 4
Few things show our social status as clearly as windows. From ancient stained glass to towering skyscraper, windows are the ultimate luxury item. Tom tells the history of these holes in the wall. He visits an Elizabethan mansion built when glass was as valuable than gold. He pushes up a Georgian sash window and handles the pulleys from 10 Downing Street. He speaks to an estate agent and finds out the cost of a south-facing window in the suburbs. Standing in one of the world's tallest glass buildings, he asks what price we pay for a room with a view.
—An Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
BBC Radio 4
Richard Buckminster Fuller was an eccentric polymath. Perhaps best known for his innovative geodesic dome designs, he was also an inventor, a poet and a philosopher. In all of his varied work, Buckminster Fuller was dedicated to principles of sustainability, to doing 'more with less' and striving to 'make the world work for 100% of humanity'. Fuller was ahead of his time and his principles are arguably more relevant now than ever.
—The Secret Life of Buildings
We spend our lives surrounded by buildings. But do we really know what they are doing to us? More importantly, do the professionals who build the spaces in which we live, work and relax, know what they are doing to us? The three-part primetime series The Secret Life of Buildings (Renegade Pictures) examined the latest scientific research on how our bodies and brains are affected by the environment around us, and applied it to buildings both everyday and celebrated. It discovered new-build homes that can seriously affect the health of their inhabitants, that the addition of something as simple as a pot-plant can vastly increase work productivity and how the designers of shopping malls use sparkle and sex to compel us to buy.
See the trailer here.
See episode two, ‘Work’, here.
—The Culture Show
Tom wrote and presented many short and full-length documentaries on architecture, cities and design for BBC television’s long-running weekly arts programme, The Culture Show, for which he interviewed figures from Oscar Niemeyer to Frank Gehry, and fronted special episodes on subjects from the Stirling Prize for architecture, to Lego toys, Chinese culture and Britain's housing crisis.
Watch selected clips here.