Leeds-based Wise Owl Films was behind ITV documentary The Metro: A Rail Life Story

A new ITV programme about life on the Tyne and Wear Metro was made by a Leeds-based production company.

Cameras gained access behind the scenes at the transport system for the first time to shoot The Metro: A Rail Life Story.

The Metro is a 48-mile network that makes 37 million journeys a year around Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside.

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Wise Owl Films, based at Prime Studios in Kirkstall Road, is behind the programme, which according to Chronicle Live boasted overnight figures of 2.6 million people for its debut episode on January 14 - higher than the first episode of Love Island's winter series which attracted 2.5 million viewers to ITV2.

Mark Robinson (centre), creative director of Wise Owl Films, with his staff. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Founder Mark Robinson grew up in Ireland Wood and, when he left ITV after nearly three decades, decided to call his company Wise Owl because he wanted it to have a connection with the city.

Mr Robinson started his career as a journalist, working in his early 20s with the Darlington & Stockton Times and Northern Echo.

Through his role as an entertainment reporter, he landed a job as a researcher at Tyne Tees Television.

He worked his way through the departments and eventually became a newsreader.

Then he started to make documentaries, and moved to Yorkshire Television in the early 1990s where he worked on the current affairs show, 3D.

He formed Shiver in 2007, going on to play a part in Bafta-nominated documentaries such as The Miners' Strike and Me.

It took Mr Robinson "the best part of 10 years" to persuade Sir David Jason to take part in the My Life on Screen, he said.

A team of three set up Wise Owl - it now has a staff of about 20 - on November 5 2018 and got their first commission within weeks.

The Metro: A Rail Life Story is available to view on the ITV Hub online streaming system.