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TV documentary tells the story of Dolly the Sheep

Creation and impact of world-famous cloned animal is featured in hour-long television show.

Dolly the Sheep

Dolly the Sheep’s creation and legacy is the focus of a television documentary.

The one-hour BBC show, Dolly: The Sheep that Changed the World, explores the story of the first mammal cloned from an adult cell, which was born at the Roslin Institute.

It traces the story of the researchers who created Dolly, combining access to scientists involved in the work with newly broadcast archive footage.

The show, a co-commission between BBC Scotland and BBC Two, premieres on BBC Scotland on 23 November and will be available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

Scientific breakthrough

Dolly was created in 1996 by a team from the Roslin Institute and PPL Therapeutics, led by Professor Sir Ian Wilmut.

She was cloned from a cell taken from a six-year old sheep, and born to a surrogate mother. Her birth showed for the first time that specialised, adult cells from an animal could be used to create a clone of that same animal.

This changed what scientists thought was possible and led to new avenues in biology and medicine, including the development of personalised stem cells.

People with a range of skillsets, including scientists, embryologists, surgeons, vets and farm staff, were involved in the Dolly project.

Dolly spent her life at the Roslin Institute, where she mothered six lambs. She died in 2003, aged six. Her body was donated to the National Museum of Scotland, where she remains a popular exhibit.

The creation of Dolly broke new ground in science. This development led to a wealth of new discoveries, and has directly inspired many ongoing research programmes at Roslin and elsewhere, including creative application of gene editing and stem cells for health, welfare and food security.

Professor Bruce WhitelawInterim Director and Professor of Animal Biotechnology, the Roslin Institute

Related links

Dolly the Sheep

Dolly: The Sheep That Changed The World

Celebrating Dolly the Sheep’s legacy, 25 years on

Dolly Quiz

About the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies 

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than eight hundred staff and almost fourteen hundred students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos. 

The School comprises: 

The Roslin Institute 

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security 

The Roslin Innovation Centre 

The Hospital for Small Animals 

Equine Veterinary Services 

Farm Animal Services 

Easter Bush Pathology 

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education 

We represent the largest concentration of animal science-related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.