Joined BBC TV in 1963, as trainee assistant film editor, after graduating with BA Hons degree from Trinity College, Dublin (1958-1962)
Assistant Film Editor/Film Editor, BBC Film Dept
Joined BBC Music and Arts Dept
Directed numerous films on a range of subjects for various BBC
series, including ‘The Movies’, ‘Moviemakers at
the NFT’, ‘Canvas’, ‘The Craftsmen’,
‘New Release’, ‘Omnibus’
John Ford, Antonioni, Roman Polanski (The Movies);
James Stewart, Bette Davis (at the NFT);
The making of Jean Luc Godard’s One Plus One;
The making of Yellow Submarine (with George Melly)
Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton (both with Charles
Dan Arbeid, Potter
David Coleman, Cabinetmaker
Short films for ‘Canvas’ and ‘First
Eleven’ on particular paintings by Van Gogh, Titian, Toulouse
Lautrec, Frans Hals, Picasso, Brueghel etc, also “Alan
Bennett at Leeds City Art Gallery”
Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet
“Ways of Seeing”, 4 x 30 min series
with John Berger (BAFTA Award 1972, Best Specialised Series). Also
collaborated on book(BBC/Penguin), still in print. The films, many
foreign editions of the book and related memorabilia were featured
in Tate Britain’s exhibition “Ways of Seeing-
revisited” (March-July 2005)
Contributed various studio items and films to BBC 2’s two
Saturday night Arts Extravaganzas “Full House” and
“Second House”, including complete programmes from
Liverpool and Glasgow.
“Is this the way to save a city?” A 90
min investigation into the redevelopment of Cardiff, co-directed
with Roger Graef
Follow-up programme one year later.
“Boom” 5’ architectural cartoon
with Louis Hellman
“Jonah Barrington” (Success Story
30’) about Britain’s foremost squash player.
“Words and Images” (Arena 15’),
with the poet and painter Charles Tomlinson.
“Beyond a Boundary” (Omnibus
60’) with the Trinidadian writer CLR James, based on his
classic book about cricket.
“The First Picture Show” (BBC 2 13 x
30’) series presenting the work of student film-makers,
co-produced with Gavin Millar.
Member of British Film Institute Production Board
“Ralph Steadman” (Arena 50’)
profile of the caricaturist and illustrator
“Seeing Through Drawing” a two hour
film about the meaning of drawing featuring, among others, David
Hockney, Jim Dine, Ralph Steadman and art historian Philip
“Taking Our Time” (Arena 60’)
with Red Ladder Theatre, based on their musical play about time and
the Industrial Revolution
“Ealing Films” (Arena 30’) in
collaboration with Charles Barr based on his book about
Britain’s most famous film studio.
“The Country and The City” (Where We
Live Now 60’) with the writer Raymond Williams, based on his
classic book of literary criticism.
“Pig Earth” (Omnibus 50’) with
John Berger, based on his stories of peasant experience, with
photographs by Jean Mohr
“Jazz, Rock and Marriage” (60’)
about jazz saxophonist Barbara Thompson and her husband rock
drummer Jon Hiseman
Paraphernalia” (45’) in concert at Bracknell
“Parting Shots from Animals” (Omnibus
60’) developed from essays by John Berger, in collaboration
with Chris Rawlence.
“Fringe Benefits” (Arena 50’)
political theatre songs of the 70’s, featuring Belt and
Braces, Red Ladder, The Sadista Sisters and the Albany’s
“Fields of Play” 5 x 60’series
about the significance of ‘Play’ in every area of our
lives, from learning and creativity to gambling and war games:
‘Plays of Meaning’. ‘Playing the
Odds’, ‘Work and Play’, ‘Playing
Ball’, ‘Playing for Real’.
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (Arena
50’) about art and psychoanalysis, with the American painter
Robert Natkin and English writer Peter Fuller.
All the above films were made for the Music and Arts dept of the
BBC. In 1983, with the arrival of Channel 4, Mike left the staff of
the BBC to work independently. He joined Third Eye Productions, a
company formed by several other ex-members of the BBC Music and
Arts dept, including Barrie Gavin, Peter West and Geoff
“Classically Cuban” (BBC Arena
60’) about the life and work of ballerina Alicia Alonso and
her Cuban National Ballet Company.
“Memories of The Future” (Channel
4/3rd Eye 2 x 52’) Two films, made in collaboration with the
writer Peter Fuller, on the life, work and ideas of John Ruskin and
“Don’t Tell Leonardo” (Channel
4/3rd Eye 52’) with Ralph Steadman, based on his book
“About Time” (Channel 4/3rd Eye 6 x
52’), co-devised and directed with Chris Rawlence, about the
meaning, experience and our conflicting ideas of
‘time’: ‘Time is Money’,
‘Time and a Half’, ‘Holy Days’,
‘Moonshine’, ‘Uncertain Times’ and
‘Once Upon a Time – with John
“CLR James in conversation with Stuart
Hall” (Channel 4 52’) The charismatic
Trinidadian talks about his life and political development as a
writer and political activist.
“What’s Cuba Playing At?” (BBC
Arena 75’) exploring the Afro-Spanish roots of Cuban music
and featuring a wide range of Cuban bands and performers.
“Studs Terkel’s Chicago” (BBC
Omnibus 60’), with the US city’s prize-winning writer,
oral historian and most celebrated citizen and broadcaster Studs
“The Spirit of Lorca” (BBC Arena
75’) about the great Spanish poet and playwright, made in
collaboration with Lorca’s Irish biographer, Ian Gibson.
(Gold Award New York International Film and TV Festival)
Directed two films for series about television “Open
The Box” (Channel 4/BFI/Beat) produced by Michael
“Take the Money and Run” (52’)
about TV and sport.
“Sheer Filth” (52’) about TV and
After 1986 Mike
Dibb began to make many of his films through his own company
Dibb Directions Ltd (DD)
“Naturally Creative” (Channel 4/DD
90’) feature length documentary exploring the origins of
human creativity, in collaboration with the writer Peter
“Appalachian Journey” and
“Dreams and Songs of The Noble Old”
(Channel 4/DD 2 x 70’) two films about traditional American
music, co-directed with Mark Kidel, and made with the US
musicologist Alan Lomax for his series ‘An American
“In Pursuit of Don Juan” (BBC
75’) exploring the origins of Spain’s most potent
cultural archetype and the many versions of his promiscuous
after-life in European art, theatre and music.
“Octavio Paz” (BBC Bookmark 50’)
The great Mexican poet and essayist talks in English about his life
and reads, in Spanish, a selection of his own work.
“Made in Latin America” (BBC 8 x
60’) Series Producer of eight diverse thematic journeys
through the cultures of a continent, presented through the voices,
images, ideas and music of Latin Americans themselves:
‘Dreams of a New World’ (director Mike Dibb),
‘The Heirs of Conquest’ (director Mike Macintyre),
‘Dictating Terms’ (director Julian Henriques),
‘States of Exile’ (director Julian Henriques).
‘City Limits’ (directors Rossana Horsley, Mike Dibb),
‘Love and Power’ (director Rossana Horsley),
‘Questions of Geography’ (director Julian Henriques),
‘Remembering the Future’ (director Mike Dibb)
“Elmore Leonard’s Criminal
Records” (BBC/DD Arena 60’) about
America’s top crime writer and the sources of his inspiration
in Detroit and Florida.
“Mirrors of Paradise” (Channel 4/DD
52’) on the rich cultural legacy of Muslim Spain, made to
commemorate the 500th anniversary of the fall of Granada.
“On location in Lone Pine” (BBC Moving
Pictures 15’) film magazine item about The Lone Pine Film
Festival, which features only the Hollywood movies made there, with
Budd Boetticher and Douglas Fairbanks Jnr
“Typically British” (Channel 4/ BFI ?
mins) co-directed with Stephen Frears, feature length documentary
on history of British cinema, presented by Stephen Frears with
Gavin Lambert, Alexander Mackendrick, Michael Apted and Alan
“The Further Adventures of Don
Quixote” (BBC/DD Bookmark 50’) exploration of
the many cultural manifestations, from movies to opera, of
Cervantes’seminal novel and Spain’s greatest fictional
“A Curious Mind - AS Byatt” (BBC
Bookmark 50’) about the Booker prize-winning English
novelist, as she retraces parts of her life and development as a
”E-Thoughts” (Channel 4/DD 15 x 30
secs) provocative 30” interstitial ideas by Rowland Morgan
for C4’s 1997 General Election coverage.
(Recognised by Guiness Book of Records as shortest documentary
film series ever made!)
“The Fame and Shame of Salvador Dali”
(BBC/DD 120’ but shown in two one hour parts) made in
collaboration with Ian Gibson during the research and writing of
his major biography of the controversial artist.
“The Beginning of The End of The
Affair” (BBC 50’) in which Oliver Walston
investigates his mother Catherine’s long affair with Graham
Greene, as it was first turned into the celebrated novel and later
a film by Neil Jordan, with Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore.
“The Miles Davis Story” (Channel 4/DD
124’) made in collaboration with Miles’ British
biographer Ian Carr; the innovative and charismatic jazz trumpeter
as remembered by his family, friends and the many great musicians
who played with him over the years. Now available as a SONY
(International EMMY for best arts documentary 2001 and Royal
Television Society TV award 2001)
“Mark Anthony Turnage” (BBC 30’)
BBC4 Profile with Gerard McBurney of the celebrated young British
“Studs Terkel” (BBC 30’) BBC4
Profile, filmed and presented by Mike Dibb, of America’s
great oral historian and broadcaster.
“Steven Rose” (BBC 30’) BBC4
Profile, filmed and presented by Mike Dibb, of the leading
biologist, science writer and political activist.
“Edward Said” (BBC 30’) BBC4
Profile with Charles Glass of the Palestinian intellectual, writer
and political activist.
“Edward Said – the last
interview” (206’) Complete version of the
original Charles Glass interview, produced by DG Guttenplan, and
now released as an ICA Projects DVD.
“Keith Jarrett – the art of
improvisation” (Channel 4/DD 86’) first
feature length documentary about the jazz world’s most
brilliant piano improviser, and great performer of classical music.
Now available as a EuroArts DVD.
“Tango Maestro – the life and music of Astor
Piazzolla” (BBC/DD 106’) the radical
Argentinian tango composer and bandoneon virtuoso, as remembered by
his family, friends and many of the musicians who played with him.
Now available on a BBC/OpusArte DVD, called ‘Astor