Orla spent ten years at sea studying the remote coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean with a coral reef NGO, having previously produced popular factual television from Channel 4’s Grand Designs to BBC’s Don’t Look Down with Kevin McCloud. She joined the Natural History Unit in October 2013 as the Development Producer to help give shape to Blue Planet II. Since then, she has spent 500 hours at depths of 1,000 metres in three oceans as Producer of The Deep episode and filmed scientists at the frontline of ocean discovery from Indonesia to the Arctic Circle as Producer of Our Blue Planet episode.
She is now co-Executive Producer on Mission OceanX, a series combining landmark bluechip natural history with the thrill and drama of ocean exploration. It is a BBC Studios/OceanX Media co-production for National Geographic, to be executive produced by Orla and Roger Webb from the NHU and filmmaker/ocean explorer James Cameron.
Based in Bristol, BBC Studios Natural History Unit produces the world’s most iconic natural history programmes, such as Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II, which have been watched by more than a billion people globally. Ranging from technically challenging live shows and super-landmarks to long-running series and children’s content, NHU programmes include Dynasties, Blue Planet Live, Springwatch, Animal Babies: First Year On Earth, Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures as well as the forthcoming Seven Worlds, One Planet presented by Sir David Attenborough and third-party commissions for Discovery, Apple, Quibi, National Geographic and BBC America.