A one-time field director and editor on influential reality show Popstars, Phill England was steeped in the world of music. England played drums for Aussie-based band The Doubting Thomases in the 1980s, before pursuing a career in television.
A 1993 graduate of Auckland’s South Seas Film and Television School, England was soon working on a variety of live and events-based TV shows. During a stint overseas in the late 90s, he helped direct coverage of an international triathlon event, and edited for English show Mountain Bike Britain.
Once back downunder, he would become a versatile programme maker, specialising in documentary, and adept at filming, editing and directing. On extreme adventure series Extreme Tribes (2004), England was one of three directors, alongside Intrepid Journeys vet Dean Cornish and the show's creator, Julian Grimmond. The series screened on America’s Discovery Channel.
In 2007 England began working on arts programme The Gravy, for Wellington production house Sticky Pictures. Usually split into three stories per episode, The Gravy was conceived as “a show about creative people made by creative people, both in front of the camera and behind”. England would contribute as a director, director of photography and editor. He was named Creative Producer on The Gravy’s fourth and final season.
The episode in which England explored sex in New Zealand art helped bring The Gravy a 2008 Qantas award for best Information/Lifestyle programme; it also earned him a Qantas nomination for best director.
Having earlier been a field director on the original Kiwi version of Hell’s Kitchen, England went on to direct for new reality show The Kitchen Job. England passed away on 30 October, 2010, after a short illness. He was 42.
'Phillip John England - Death Notice' - The NZ Herald, 1 November 2010