Biography

Katinka Newman who was prescribed an ante depressant drug and had a extreme reaction - a psychotic episode -and was given more drugs to treat the Psychosis. she was hospitalised and lost a year from her life. She is also pictured with her Daughter Lily 14 and her son Oscar 12. Pictures by Rann Chandric on Monday 24th August 2015

Katinka Blackford Newman is an award winning freelance documentary film maker, published author of a bestselling book, and investigative journalist.   She is inspired by extraordinary stories about ordinary people.

After graduating from Warwick University with a degree in Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts, she joined BBC TV    on the flagship consumer programme, That’s Life.  She produced a number of hard hitting campaigns including one about  a British Stockbroker who saved thousands of Czech children from extermination by arranging for them to come to England. This formed the idea behind Esther Rantzen’s massively popular  prime time programme Hearts of Gold, celebrating ordinary peoples acts of kindness which she helped formulate and continued to work on.

She went on to make many films for the BBC in Documentary Features and in News and Current Affairs. Her first film for the BBC’s flagship series Forty Minutes won the Mental Health Media Award – Caraline’s Story charted the horrific story of a 30 year olds decision to commit a slow suicide through anorexia.

She has made a number of films for all the terrestrial channels including Dispatches, Neigbourhoods  from Hell, Food File , Wish You Were Here and celebrity based geneology programme You Don’t Know You’re Born.

Half Ton Man, an investigation into the worlds most obese people for the  Bodyshock strand was  both Channel 4 and Discovery’s highest  ever rated documentary.

Many of her films are based on her own idea, including the critically acclaimed Surrendered Wives, Channel 4,  about a movement in Los Angeles where women surrendered to their husband.

ITV’s  1 hour Real Life strand commissioned her to make Murder in the Family which followed a mum’ s journey to the Philippines to bring her daughter to justice for murdering her son.

BBC1’s The Woman Who Couldn’t Stop Lying , for their flagship documentary strand One Life, was nominated for the Broadcast Best Documentary award.

She moved on  to directing drama/documentaries when she worked on the first series of Raw TV’s Grierson winning series Banged Up Abroad (now called Locked Up Abroad).

She made seven films shot around the world over several series, one of which was nominated for an international Emmy.

She worked on several films  for  Darlow Smithson’s survival series I Shouldn’t Be Alive . These films have involved directing full drama crews often in hostile environments  including jungles, deserts, and the sea She has also made drama documentaries  on Animal Planet’s I’m Alive series and Fatal Attraction series.

Also a drama/Documentary about Peter Sutcliffe for Channel 5 – I Escaped the Yorkshire Ripper.

She has series produced a number of docusoaps, including Animal ER for Channel 5 and Looking for Love for ITV.

Her bestselling book, The Pill That Steals Lives, about pharma corruption, has formed the basis of a 1 hour Panorama investigation, A Prescription for Murder,  on which she worked. In her spare time, she runs a campaign to help people affected by side effects of prescription drugs and has been interviewed around the world on national TV and radio on this subject.

She lives in London with  her two teenage children