Francis was one of the key consultants on Time Team, and the resident Bronze Age and Iron Age expert. As well as being a popular personality on Time Team, he is also famed for the discovery of Flag Fen, a 3500 year old Bronze Age site near what is now Peterborough. He has written and co-written many books on archaeology and has recently turned his hand to fiction. He is a founding member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, now known as the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Francis was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to tourism.