Headhunted for the Isle of Man TT

In the run up to an ambitious new programming slate covering the iconic Isle of Man TT motorbike race in TV, film and gaming, the Hollywood studio behind the project, Pilgrim Media Group, snapped up Top Gear producer talent Aurora Mulligan months before the official announcement was made last October.

Aurora, now Executive Director of Sports and Documentaries at Pilgrim Media Group is a Northern Irish Producer and Director, specialising in Motorsport shows. Prior to BBC Top Gear she worked for Big Earth Productions, the company behind Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s motorcycle travel series Long Way Round and Long Way Down.

Raised in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, she graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in political science, before embarking on a television and documentary producing career. Aurora was an assistant director on shows like Holby City, EastEnders, Skins and The Bill as well as movies like Clash of the Titans and Brendan Smyth: Betrayal of Trust. She went on to produce series like Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure and Extreme Frontiers USA and the documentary Prince Harry in Africa before diving deeper into motorsports.

Aurora’s Isle of Man Relations

Asked about her relationship with the Isle of Man Aurora said: ‘I visited the Island for the 2016 TT and was blown away by the unique atmosphere. The riders who are going to the limits to become king of the mountain road course, are so approachable by everyone. The Isle of Man TT still breathes its more than 100 year-old history and is totally locally rooted. It’s part of the landscape, the culture, the DNA of this island, and I always thought you need to show that.

I came back later in 2016 to film for Top Gear, with presenter Matt LeBlanc driving a bright orange Russian Avtoros Shaman, an eight-wheeled all-terrain vehicle, through the ancient capital Castletown and up a nearby mountain, where we staged a mock rescue for some naked ramblers. This brought me into contact with the Department for Enterprise motorsports team and Simon Crellin, as well as the media sector team and Zoe Guilford.

A Hollywood Investment into a local Company for a Global Event

Now I’m based in Los Angeles, commuting regularly between my home in L.A., my familiy in Northern Island and the Isle of Man, helping to build the local company ‘Global Motorsports Ventures’ with Isle of Man talent. We have a number of exciting projects in development and we are very fortunate that we won’t have to fly in all the staff from abroad as there is incredible talent and companies already on the island. Isle of Media, the island’s inward investment agency for the broadcast and film industry, has been tremendously helpful in lining up meetings with our local partners with more to come. And SES Satellites is operating a whole broadcast infrastructure here, already providing the satellite uplink and streaming connection to broadcaster ITV4 for their Isle of Man TT coverage on television.

I am very excited to be back here for the 100th Isle of Man TT Races and proud to sponsor local rider hero Conor Cummins and the Padgetts racing team.’


Copyright © 2017 Richard K. Arning
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