The former Editor of BBC Television’s flagship documentary strand 'Inside
Story', Olivia Lichtenstein, has a varied filmography to her credit, spanning
subjects as diverse as Russian humour to the sensitive issues of rape and
prostitution. After obtaining a first class honours degree in Russian Studies
from Sussex University and an M.A in Slavic Languages and Literature in Los
Angeles on a Fulbright Scholarship, Olivia began her TV career as Foreign
News Desk Editor for ABC News, London.
Olivia won a BAFTA Award for her documentary, 'Silent Twin - without my
shadow', her moving film with exclusive access to June Gibbons, the surviving
twin sister of Jennifer Gibbons. Other awards include: Grierson award; RTS
award; British Press Guild Award; Cologne Conference Award; Golden Gate
Award; cableACE Award.
As well as Editor of 'Inside Story', where Olivia commissioned and executive
produced some 100 films for BBC ONE, (many of which were shown on A&E
Network and HBO in the USA and on other channels throughout the world)
she has been Executive Producer of many BBC ONE series: 'HMS Brilliant';
'Making Babies'; 'Law Women'; The Cruise; The Shop; Fat Free; Animal
Police; The Builders; Jailbirds; HMS Splendid; Gulag; Burgled: Soldiers to Be;
Eyes of a Child; Boss Women; Fergal Keane’s Forgotten Britain. Mountain
Men; Through the Eyes of the Old; Through the Eyes of the Young; The
Oklahoma Bomber; Shipmates…
Olivia spent a year on attachment to BBC Drama developing projects. She
then became Creative Director of BBC Documentaries, London.
In 2001, she produced and directed A Lump In My Throat, a 60’ drama
starring Neil Pearson for BBC TWO about John Diamond who had died of
throat cancer in March of that year. Previously, Olivia made the Grierson
award-winning documentary Tongue-Tied about John Diamond’s journey
Olivia left the BBC in 2002 to work as a freelance producer, director and
journalist. She writes regularly for magazines and national newspapers. In
2003 she series produced Inside Saddam’s Iraq, and produced and directed
a 60’ documentary for BBC Television Who Killed Kirsty MacColl?. She has
directed the BBC ONE medical drama, Holby City and has recently directed
numerous episodes of The Bill. Olivia’s latest TV production was All the
Queen’s Horses with Alan Titchmarsh for ITV, which she produced and
In 2007, she published her first novel, Mrs Zhivago of Queen’s Park, which
has been sold to fourteen countries and won the Good Housekeeping Book
Award. Her second novel, Things Your Mother Never Told You, was published
by Orion in September 2009.
She is married with two children and lives in London.