Brook Associates was founded in 1982, and merged with Brian Lapping Associates in 1997. The merged company, Brook Lapping, is renowned for its landmark series on international politics. It has also made definitive series on British political leaders including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair and has run Question Time for BBC1 and A Week in Politics for Channel 4. Brook Lapping led the consortium that won the tender to run Teachers TV for the Department of Education in 2004. It took responsibility for channel management and commissioning with Brook Lapping producing 30% of the channel’s programme content over a period of seven years.
The first of the company’s major international series, The Second Russian Revolution, was shown in 31 countries. Watergate, first broadcast on BBC2 in the UK, won for Discovery US its largest audience ever for a documentary series. The Death of Yugoslavia, was a six-part series in which Slobodan Milosevic, the other Yugoslav presidents and 60 of their generals, ministers, and rivals each told their part in how he rose to power and gave the world the term ‘ethnic cleansing’. It was broadcast all over the world and repeated in most countries during the Kosovo war.
More recent international series have included Iran & The West, Putin, Russia & The West and most recently The Iraq War which includes inside stories told by top insiders from Washington, London and Paris and Iraq’s three Prime Ministers since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Brook Lapping’s documentaries on British politics which include Maggie the First Lady, The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair, and A Year Inside Number 10 have a comparable record of telling unique, exclusive insider stories, More recently Brook Lapping produced Sky One/Sky Atlantic’s obituary tribute programme to Margaret Thatcher.
The Flight That Fought Back, a docudrama about United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed on 9/11 won Discovery US the third highest audience in its history at the time, and led to commissions for two ambitious docudramas for the Channel’s annual Shark Week season including Blood in the Water and Ocean of Fear which gave Discovery its highest-rated premiere Shark Week episode for over 20 years. Other US commissions have included Hunting the Edge of Space for PBS’s Nova science strand and a four part series Space: Back to the Future for Smithsonian Networks.
To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, ITV1 commissioned the feature length 9/11, Day that Changed the World which was co-produced with the Smithsonian Channel US, France 2 and NHK. With scheduling that saw ITV News at Ten moved to accommodate it, the programme was ITV’s third highest rating documentary for 2011. Since that success ITV1 have commissioned feature length documentaries The Hunt for Bin Laden and the forthcoming Murdoch. In addition Brook Lapping has contributed a programme for every season to date of ITV’s current affairs strand Exposure.
Brook Lapping Radio has made a number of award-winning features for BBC Radio 4. In 2010 its profile of Margaret Thatcher, Archive on 4: Working for Margaret, won a Sony Gold. The 2012 series Black is a Country - which chronicled the music and politics of the Black Power movement - took a Sony Silver for Best Music Documentary.