Pilot Productions was originally formed in 1988 in Sydney, Australia by Ian Cross and Simon Nasht and transferred to London and Budapest the following year for its first production, a co-production with the BBC on a pan European series, Extra.
Until 1997, the company had an office in Budapest where it produced a number of series for European broadcasters during and after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. These series included Central Express and Extreme East.
The company began production of the Lonely Planet travel series in 1992 which was rebranded Globe Trekker in 2000. Other series produced by Pilot Productions have included Treks in a Wild World, Planet Food and Bazaar.
Pilot has produced 248 episodes of Globe Trekker comprising 17 series and numerous specials.
The company’s various series have won 50 international awards. It self distributes its programs for television, OTT networks and the inflight market, and also produces DVDs and CDs.
Pilot has more recently produced a series of history programs including the most recent Empire Builders, while continuing its travel slate with series such as Tough Trucks and Tough Trains.
Ian Cross, Managing Director said: “When we began there was no internet, mobile, or HD TV. Now we are in the myriad of technological change with the digital revolution transforming everything. But good content survives, as we are still demonstrating after 30 years.”