THINK moviemakers and what immediately springs to mind? Hollywood, London and Bollywood, of course. Certainly not Winchester. But that’s where television producer turned documentary film-maker, Claire Lewis, has been based for the past 15 years.

The Royal Television Society Award winner and Bafta nominee moved to the ancient Wessex capital in 1994 to join Meridian TV.

Her previous work on the small screen has included the iconic 7-Up series and she has worked on every programme since 28-Up in 1984.

However, she is now branching into film documentaries and, earlier this year, finished an ambitious $2m project called End of the Line.

The film focuses on the prospect of marine life becoming extinct by 2050 should current over-fishing rates continue.

It is narrated by former Cheers star, Ted Danson, who is a longstanding ocean campaigner. As a result, Claire reckoned he would be the ideal choice to provide the voice-over for the film, and he agreed.

Even with a household name behind the project, she could not be guaranteed success. However, the film has been featured in cinemas throughout the UK, including two screenings in Winchester and a six-week run in Leicester Square.

She said: “It’s fantastic. I can’t believe how well it’s done and how much publicity we’ve had but, more importantly, it seems to be changing how people feel about the sea. Once they’ve seen the film, they want to know if there’s something they can do to help.”

On a local level, she plans to launch a campaign with Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Winchester, Martin Tod, against over-fishing.

Another screening in Winchester is also on the cards, along with a possible DVD launch in October.

She says the next project for her company, Calm Productions, is likely to be a documentary on autistic children.

It will aim to show autism through the eyes of those with the condition and it will be directed by Stephen Burton, who lives in Ringwood.

Claire added: “People often ask me what the difference is between a director and a producer.

“As a producer, you take an idea and turn it into the finished product, from inception through to the end.

“You also pick the team and you’re responsible for the budget and, if it’s a film, you have to raise the money.”

The documentary on autism, provisionally entitled This Is Me, is likely to cost around £200,000. In terms of television work, the next part of 7-Up, where members of the original group will turn 56, is due in 2012. She hopes that filming will coincide with the London Olympics.

It comes after 42-Up and 49-Up were both saluted by critics and brought in more than five million viewers.

One of her first television jobs was working on 28-Up, having previously been a reporter with Granada TV.

Before that, she had worked in local radio, been a journalist on the Rotherham Advertiser and had also taught in a primary school. She has also worked for the BBC, but her career led her to Hampshire in 1994 when she produced several shows for Meridian.

Initially living in Dean Lane, Winchester, she later moved to nearby Holly Meadows, in Teg Down.

Her eldest three children, Simon, Zoe and Ben, have left home, but her youngest daughter, Tessa, who is an award-winning horse-rider, still lives with her.

Claire, 58, who now works freelance, said her chief regret about today’s television industry was the decline in local programming.

“I feel very lucky to be able to have a job where I love what I do. It really is a privilege,” she added.