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'Good ideas come from anywhere' PS Public sector's local heroes.

DOCUMENTARY-MAKER Ross Wilson swept the boards at last year's BAFTA awards for his series with Stephen Fry on manic depression. Whether making films about Sir Sean Connery or exposing Nazi war criminals living in the UK, the award winning producer has an enviable track record.

ROSS, 61, from Glasgow, also won a BAFTA for his film After Lockerbie marking the 10th anniversary of the aircraft disaster and was nominated for his behind-the-scenes look at Gordon Brown's team in the run up to the 1997 general election.

His touching documentary on bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, beat competition from 800 documentaries from 70 countries to win an Emmy.

An executive producer for the BBC, Ross is putting together a film on Russell Brand as he retraces Jack Kerouac's trans-America road trip from the book On The Road.

He said: "I got into the industry when staff jobs were the norm and established myself. Once you make one documentary that is successful it becomes your calling card."

One of his earliest successes was a film about the Edinburgh Film Festival featuring Robbie Coltrane.

He said: "Robbie was a chauffeur in his early career and drove Martin Scorsese when he visited the Festival. We had him in a big American car for this documentary called Hooray For Hollywood and it took it to a wide audience. It all took off from there."

Ross says good ideas come from anywhere. He said: "The piece on Nazis was based on three lines I read in the Daily Record.

"We got Stephen Fry to present the documentary on depression on the understanding that it wouldn't turn into a thinly disguised biography. He was so amazed how frank manic depression sufferers were that he opened up towards the end of filming.

"Russell Brand surprised me. He's a deep thinker with lots of interesting things to say."

On The Road With Russell Brand is on BBC Four, December 12, at 9pm.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 2, 2007
Words:325
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