Colin Willock

Born January 13, 1919

Dies 26th March 2005

Colin started ITV's Natural History flagship programme Survival in the early 1960's with Aubrey Buxton, and was the unit's creative head for over thirty years. He wrote and produced over 400 films. He also wrote 36 books and regularly contributed to a variety of magazines and papers.

Name ID 824

See also

1974 Publishes: Willock, Colin Africa's Rift Valley

Extract ID: 3092

See also

1978 Publishes: Willock, Colin The World of Survival

Extract ID: 2913

See also

Pearson, John Hunters of the Plains
Page Number: Rear Cover
Extract Date: 1978 March 3

John Pearson was a Captain with East African Airways

John Pearson was a Captain with East African Airways, flying DC3s, Fokker Friendship and then Comets. But he also managed to combine that career with his other great love: making wildlife films. In 1968 he gave up flying to concentrate on being what Colin Willock, Producer of The World of Survival calls: 'a member of that rarest and most specialist breed of people, a wildlife, or naturalist, cameraman.' John Pearson was definitely among the top dozen in his field. He made a number of films for Survival including Serengeti Had Not Died, Wings Over The Rift and of course Hunters of the Plains.

On 3 March 1978, in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, John Pearson was accidently shot dead at the age of fifty.

Extract ID: 2904

See also

2001 Publishes: Willock, Colin A Life on the Wild Side

Extract ID: 5219

See also

Pearson, John Hunters of the Plains
Extract Author: Colin Willock
Page Number: 166
Extract Date: 3 March 1978,


John began to shoot footage on the Gorigor Pride and indeed it looked as though they might live up to his expectations.

One morning, 3 weeks after the account of his first day with the Gorigors was written, he got up as usual at 5.45 to make tea before he set out to find his lion.

Jenny Pearson heard him leave the tent. Almost at once there was a shot. She heard John call out: `What the bloody hell goes on?' Immediately there were two more shots, the first of which struck John in the forehead, killing him instantly. The other hit a tree.

What had happened was this. The game guard attached to camp by the Conservation Authority had heard Maasai shouts and cow bells. In fact, these were perfectly normal sounds made by Maasai herdsmen driving cattle down to water over the Crater rim. The young game guard, who was plainly terrified by the reputation of the Maasai camp raiders, panicked, imagining that they were about to attack the camp. The measure of his panic and the desperately random nature of the accident can be judged by the fact that he fired all three shots from inside his tent. John Pearson was carrying a torch at the time and it is thought that he probably shone this in the direction of the first shot when he called out to know what was happening. The second and fatal shot must have been fired in the general direction of the torch.

The game guard immediately placed himself under close arrest and was shortly afterwards taken away by the Conservation Authorities. It is not known what happened to him. Jenny Pearson returned to England with Rebecca but is back working in Tanzania at the moment of writing.

The missing cheetah sequence for Hunters was shot by one of John's Survival colleagues in Africa, Bob Campbell. But Hunters of the Plains remains John Pearson's film.

This book is John's too. All I have done is to edit and organize that suitcase full of notes that jenny brought back with her to England.

Extract ID: 4484