Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Planet Earth Live

The BBC are renowned for the wildlife programmes, especially those presented by David Attenborough. Around this time of year they usually produce and screen a live show called Springwatch, however, over the past of couple of years audience numbers have plummeted, partly I suspect to the poor choice of presenters. The show was very quickly being dumbed down.

Well, this year its replacement is Planet Earth Live. Lots of build up over the past few weeks, and I for one was very excited at this first. However, talk about dumbing down. The key host for this ground breaking wildlife series is an childish presenter by the name of Richard Hammond, one of 3 presenters of a boy racer TV programme called Top Gear, alongside that imbecile Jeremy Clarkson.

Apparently Hammond has "always wanted to present wildlife programmes". Well, I've always wanted lots of money but they don't put me in charge of the Bank of England.

That aside, I was keen to stick with it due to the key word in the title . . . "live". Well, the show airs at 8pm in the UK, presented by Hammond from the Masai Mara in Africa, where it is 10pm, and yes, you guessed it, pitch black. Then there's slots from Sri Lanka, where it's the middle of the morning and the crew and presenter are in bed so this is recorded footage. Then polar bears in Antarctica. Yep, that's right, recorded footage. However, we do cut live to around midday in Minnesota to Julia Bradbury presenting a piece on black bears. However, she may be live from Minnesota but all the footage is, well, you get the idea. In the coming weeks we are to be treated to a grey whale migration . . . that happened a few weeks ago.

Is it just me or am I missing the "live" element of this programme? Don't get me wrong, in typical BBC high standards the stories and footage are world class, but the only live element of this wildlife programme is Hammond in a tent in Africa. Unless at one point he's going to be game for a lion then that would be worth sticking to this series for.

So I have no complaint about the content, but I think it's a little misleading to have built it up as this live wildlife show. I know it's pretty much impossible to have wildlife act on queue, and I accept that, so why bill it as live?

Very disappointing. Not as disappointing though as having a petrol head present it.

Is there a conflict there or is it just me?

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