I don’t know what Mother Nature thinks, but Sir David Attenborough has a lot to answer for. From exhilarating highs to heart breaking lows, the vision of Sir David is back with Africa.
Africa is a feat undertaken by Sir David Attenborough CBE and the award-winning BBC Natural History Unit, capturing the great continent like it’s never been seen before. This landmark series will be bringing never-before-seen wildlife behaviour to our screens; lizards stalking their prey on the backs of lions, antelope-hunting monkeys and an intense giraffe fight, a fight which was seen in the first episode at the turn of the new year, and all of this narrated by the unhurried explanations of Attenborough himself. It is two years since we were treated to the unforgettable Frozen Planet series and it seems that the magic is Attenborough is afoot, pulling a 25% share of the U.K.'s audience... if you haven't caught wind of it yet, check out the trailer below… Wonderful.
Of course, there are going to be familiar faces cropping up among the animals and creatures that feature but, with the BBC Natural History Unit in tow, once again we are about to be floored by the natural world and the surprises that are there for us still to discover. This six-part series was filmed over four years and stretches from Africa’s ancient south-west corner all the way through the Congo to the Atlantic Ocean.
Sir David Attenborough has been on British Television screens since 1953, when he presented his first 3-part series ‘The Pattern of Animals’, and almost 60 years later, the relevance and importance of the work that this man does is felt more than ever. At almost 87 years old, Sir David has brought the wonders of the Natural World to our living rooms, unearthing new species, behavioral patterns and bringing all of this to us via breathtaking visuals that have won numerous awards. His passion for the natural world is contagious and he’s built a legacy that has gone on to inspire thousands to be like him or those behind the scenes of what goes on.
On his career, Sir David says that some of the highlights have been, ‘watching birds of paradise display, diving on a coral reef, seeing the gorillas at dawn, a lagoon in Spain with everything going on – the clouds, the geese and the sun.’
It was earlier in 2012 that we were treated to Sir David Attenborough’s 60 Years in the Wild, three-part series, which wasn’t so much about the man behind the blue shirt and chinos, but more of a look at his past successes narrated and reflected upon by the man himself. If I was to have had a career that spanned six decades, I could assure you that pinpointing highlights would be impossible. I find it difficult enough to divulge the highlights of my own life, let alone one that’s walked on every continent of the world and had the opportunity to watch many of the world’s creatures doing what they do best… living.
He commented on how technology dictated the way in which his hands on style of filming has been replaced by a form of storytelling to CQ, saying that:
‘In the Zoo Quest programs, although we went to West Africa with the London zoo collecting team, there were no long lenses and film was so insensitive you couldn't have got any close-ups. You wouldn't have seen any wild animals at all, hardly. So in order to give an impression of what the animal was like, we had to show them live in the studio. We didn't have any money to film in the wild, apart from anything else. Once you were able to film animals [in the wild], there was no need to film in the studio.By and large, television is a visual medium and you should start with the vision; you should only use those words that are required in order to fill in the picture. So if you're talking about chameleons, then you show chameleons and don't spend your words trying to think of smart similes or metaphors or describe something which people can see.’
Sir David Attenborough is one of the finest examples of the English Gentlemen to date and is a living legend. His career has gone on to inspire many and is still doing so today. What he brings to our screens and thus our lives is something extraordinary and captivating, informing us of the world around us and how delicate yet marvellous it is.
Long may his reign continue.
Keep your eyes on the BBC for Africa, an experience that can’t be missed.