Biography

I have been at UEA since 2006, and was Head of School for 2011-13. Prior to UEA, I worked for the University of Glamorgan and the Open University, and did my PhD on television sitcom at Canterbury Christ Church College. I have published widely on comedy and popular television, including two books: Television Sitcom (British Film Institute, 2005) and The Sitcom (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). I have journal articles in a wide variety of publications (including Screen, Television and New Media, Journal of Popular Television, Journal of British Cinema and Television, and Celebrity Studies) and have edited and co-edited special editions of Participations, Comedy Studies and Critical Studies in Television. My interest in teaching and pedagogy has resulted in co-authoring the text book Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts (Pearson, 2009/12), now in its second edition.

Highlighted Publications

See All

Mills, B.

(2013)

Invalid Animals: Finding the non-Human Funny in Special Needs Pets

UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2013)

The Animals Went in Two by Two: Heteronormativity in Television Wildlife Documentaries

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B., Barlow, D.

(2012)

Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts. 2nd edition

UEA Repository

(Book)


Cassidy, A., Mills, B.

(2012)

'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2011)

The Guardians of the General Interest: Discourses of Knowledge in QI

UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2011)

Days of Future Past: Documenting the Future

UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2010)

Being Rob Brydon: Performing the Self in Comedy

UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2010)

Television wildlife documentaries and animals' right to privacy

UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2009)

The Sitcom

UEA Repository

(Book)


Mills, B.

(2008)

'Paranoia, paranoia, everybody's coming to get me': Peep Show, sitcom, and the surveillance society

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2005)

Television Sitcom

UEA Repository

(Book)


Mills, B.

(2004)

Comedy Verite: Contemporary Sitcom Form

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


All Publications

See Highlights
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Mills, B.

(2016)

Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British television comedy industry

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2016)

Old Jokes: One Foot in the Grave, Comedy and the Elderly

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2016)

‘If this was a human…’: Pets, vets and medicine

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B., Horton, E.

(2016)

Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)


Mills, B.

(2016)

A Special Freedom: Regulating Comedy Offence

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2016)

"Out There, In the World": Representations of the Zoo and Other Spaces in the

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2015)

The Television Sitcom

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2015)

"Shoved Online": BBC Three, British Television and the Marginalisation of Young Adult Audiences

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B., Ralph, S.

(2014)

'Trying to Ride a Naughty Horse': British Television Comedy Producers

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2014)

Sitcoms

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2014)

Sketch Comedy Shows

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2013)

The Animals Went in Two by Two: Heteronormativity in Television Wildlife Documentaries

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2013)

Invalid Animals: Finding the non-Human Funny in Special Needs Pets

UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B.

(2013)

'Complaints Were Received': Morris, Comedy and Broadcasting in Context

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2013)

'Shane, Don't Film This Bit': Comedy and Performance in Le Donk and Sco-Zay-Zee

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Mills, B.

(2012)

'American Remake - Shudder': Online Debates About Life on Mars and Britishness

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Cassidy, A., Mills, B.

(2012)

'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Mills, B., Barlow, D.

(2012)

Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts. 2nd edition

UEA Repository

(Book)


Ralph, S., Mills, B.

(2012)

Written evidence submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Inquiry into Support for the Creative Economy.: Make Me Laugh Research Project

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Mills, B.

(2012)

Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry

(Web publication/site)


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Key Research Interests

I’m interested in popular television, especially that which is routinely ignored by academics and critics (I explored this idea in a special edition of Critical Studies in Television I edited in 2010, called ‘Invisible Television’). This has primarily centred around comedy, but I’m also interested in other genres, such as the panel show and wildlife documentaries.

I’m currently leading the 3-year (2012-4) Arts and Humanities Research Council project, ‘Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry’ (http://www.makemelaugh.org.uk/) which is working with comedy writers, producers and commissioners to explore their creative processes and to examine how comedy gets made. This follows the earlier AHRC-funded project ‘Funny Business’ (2005-6), in which I interviewed comedy workers about their activities.

A more recent research interest concerns the representation of animals on television, in particular in wildlife documentaries. My publications on this topic in European Journal of Cultural Studies (2013) and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (2010) received widespread international media attention.
I’m interested in supervising PhD students on topics including comedy, popular culture, television, genre, and media and animals.

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • I’m a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Popular Television and Critical Studies in Television.
  • I’m the external examiner for BA Film and Television Studies at the University of Northumbria, and was previously the external examiner for BA Broadcasting and New Media at Kingston University.
  • I’ve contributed to a wide number of television and radio programmes about television comedy, including Funny Gals: Lucille Ball (BBC Radio 2, 2011), Sex and the Sitcom (BBC4, 2011), The One Show (BBC1, 2011) and Men About the House (BBC4, 2010).