What’s in a name?

micro-documentaries for the BBC about eponyms

A third commission from the BBC! I’m clawing back some of that licence money.

This time they’re about eponyms, which are something that’s named after someone. Biro springs to mind, named for Lazlo Biro who invented the ballpoint pen. But we’ve gone for less well known and hopefully more interesting examples. The main criterion is that there is a story worth telling.

Previously we’ve attempted historical reconstructions using a green screen technique, which proved to be a singular pain in the ass. These videos use a more straightforward documentary style with animation sequences, live-action and vintage footage, and a lot of ‘Ken Burns’ panning and zooming.

The BBC won’t let me link directly to the videos, but if you click the adjacent images you’ll go the playlist page on the Beeb’s website where you can watch them


  • BBC Ideas


  • Animation
  • Illustration
  • Live-action video