Peter Dorling

Peter Dorling

Peter was on the staff of the BBC for 40 years. He began in the BBC’s overseas services with audiences of 100 million people when he read the news. He then transferred to BBC Television News where he spent 30 years as producer, reporter, interviewer, news presenter, and film-director. Eventually he was put in charge of training all the BBC’s television journalists in the technical skills of ‘showing’ stories rather than just telling them. His last full-time appointment in the BBC was helping set-up the international satellite news channel BBC World, and he was one of its first presenters. For many years Peter was also a member of the BBC’s own Speakers’ Panel of members of staff who speak for the BBC at seminars, universities, local societies, and other interested groups who ask for an ‘official’ speaker to talk to their organisations. On retirement he was in demand as a television training consultant for other television stations around the world, mostly in Singapore. Peter spent several months every year for ten years as a journalism consultant with Singapore television, and he lectures (see below) about the island’s history on cruise ships visiting Singapore. Peter has been a cruise ship lecturer for 25 years, on voyages all over the world. He talks particularly about historic times at the BBC (see below) in which he was often a participant, and about his work in film-making which include ‘tutorials’ for cruise ship passengers keen to make professional-looking personal videos of their holidays (see below).


1. Remember Dick Barton? Mrs Dale? Re-live the great days of the wireless. Former BBC Producer Peter Dorling was there, and tells you all about them.

2. How television began and the struggles facing the early pioneers. Former BBC TV Producer Peter Dorling shows some early television broadcasts.

3. The BBC in World War II. Remember Alvar Lidell?, Tommy Handley? Former BBC Radio Producer Peter Dorling takes you behind the scenes at this historic time.

4. The BBC’s original radio war with the former Soviet Union. How the BBC fought an extraordinary propaganda battle during the Cold War. Former BBC Radio Producer Peter Dorling was one of the broadcasters.

5. “Over to our reporter….” But why all the doom and gloom? Former BBC TV Producer Peter Dorling explains

6. Breaking the BBC’s Monopoly. Former BBC Producer Peter Dorling tells how the BBC lost its long-standing monopoly, and struggled with commercial competition.

7.‘Cue the Newsreader!’ – but what does he actually do? Former BBC TV News Presenter Peter Dorling shows how the job has changed.

8. The Great Composers writing again? Peter Dorling tells the extraordinary story from his TV documentary which uncovered 'new' classical compositions, thanks to a middle-aged housewife in Balham.

9. Richard Dimbleby - the life of one of the BBC’s finest broadcasters. On his death in 1965, the BBC asked Peter Dorling to produce a definitive recording of Dimbleby’s career. Today he tells that story, with extracts from Richard Dimbleby’s historic broadcasts.

10. The BBC's famous reputation for fostering classical music - Peter tells how it started and describes the fight to save the Promenade Concerts in the early years.

VIDEO-MAKING (All illustrated with laptop examples) (Helpful for all destinations as video-cameras are a must-have accessory for cruise passengers.)

11. ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ Got a video camera? Thinking of buying one? Or just interested in how films are made? Former BBC Film-maker Peter Dorling explains the tricks of the trade.

12. Variety is the spice of life – and the movies! People, places, still photographs and maps, and much more. Peter Dorling explains.

13. Silence is golden – but sound is better! How to use your video camera’s microphone: interviews, natural sound, background music, and talking to the camera yourself. Peter Dorling explains how.

SINGAPORE (All with audio/video illustrations) (For cruises calling at Singapore. Peter Dorling was a producer with Singapore Television for about 10 years)

14. Singapore: From Raffles to Lee Kwan Yew. Peter Dorling tells Singapore’s story - from obscure faraway trading post, through defeat then liberation in World War II, up to its struggle for independence.

15. Singapore: 2 Tensions and tantrums The rise of Singapore’s remarkable first Prime Minister, Lee Kwan Yew, but how acrimonious relations led to a final break with Malaysia 16. Singapore: From third world to first in 30 years. How has the country done it? Peter explains the achievements of modern-day Singapore Technical requirements: To illustrate these lectures I use my own Toshiba laptop computer, with lecture inserts also on a separate memory stick. The extra equipment I will need on board is access to a computer video projection system, video and audio, together with the relevant connecting leads (usually to the computer’s headphone jack for sound, and from its 15-pin external monitor port for video).

ExpertiseBroadcasting & History of the BBC
Cruise Experience as Speaker/TutorI took my first steps in cruise lecturing in 1990 when Cunard invited me to give a series of lectures about the first Gulf War. That war was then in progress. I was to describe the technicalities and ethics of ‘televising a modern war’. (At the time I was a presenter/producer with the new BBC World Service TV News and so was often seen in many parts of the world in broadcasts from London.) The ship was the Sagafjord, on which later, as Saga’s Saga Rose, I was to lecture many times in coming years. My efforts on Sagafjord led directly to lecturing again with Cunard, this time with their flagship, the QE2, the following year. Since then I have lectured with Cunard, Saga, Fred Olsen, P&O, Princess and Thompson cruise lines. Altogether some 40 different cruises (the last 17 years with the P&R Agency) and often 2 to 3 cruises a year. I have given about 200 lectures at sea. My lecture list is constantly being updated and new titles added. After a discussion with P&R Agency we agreed to have a break from cruise lecturing since 2015 as my wife has been ill, so sadly I have had to turn down several offers. She is now recovered and I am available again.


Film & TV
History - Social