Historian, writer and interviewer
Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Zeigler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In addition to being the author of numerous best-selling books, he is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2003 he wrote and presented Empire, a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4. The sequel, American Colossus, was screened as a two-hour feature on Channel 4 in 2004. His most recent six-part series, The War of the World, went out on Channel 4 in the summer of 2007. Each of these television series has been accompanied by a best-selling book. A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Niall Ferguson’s weekly column for the Sunday Telegraph and Los Angeles Times is syndicated around the world. In 2004 Time magazine named him as one of the world’s hundred most influential people.
Adrian Pennink has produced and directed more than 30 television documentaries and documentary series for British broadcasters and as co-productions with PBS, Discovery and NHK. His films have received prizes from among others, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Best Documentary Emmy for The Ascent of Money), the Royal Television Society, the Houston International Film Festival, the NYC International Film Festival (the feature documentary Kissinger) and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. He produced 8 films for the BBC's Horizon and was on the team when it won a BAFTA for Best Factual Series. He has won a Prix Leonardo, the UN Prize, Leipzig, a Freddie Award, the Jury Special Prize and Public Prize, Cinearchea Film Festival and the Jury Prize Kineon Film Festival. He has been nominated twice for Grierson and Emmy Awards. Adrian Pennink was Series Director on Niall Ferguson’s last documentary series The Ascent of Money, Civilization and China. He has also been a UN elections observer in Mozambique.
Melanie used to work for the British Government's Treasury before joining the BBC's current affairs department to cover their flagship political economic and social affairs programmes. She regularly prepared the BBC's top anchormen, such as David Dimbleby, Jonathan Dimbleby and John Humphries, for political interviews as well as live broadcasts. Since 1998 she has worked for the UK's top independent companies producing documentaries, mostly on historical and political subjects. Among the many presenters she has worked with are Robert Hughes, with whom she made a series on Australia, Beyond the Fatal Shore, and Chris Patten whose book on Asia, East West was made into a three-part series for the BBC. She has worked with Niall Ferguson for the last 10 years, producing his historical documentary programmes.