Blue Planet Live – BBC1

Blue Planet Live
(Image credit: BBC / Joe Giacomet)

Chris Packham, Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin present a week of live programmes on aquatic wildlife. Plus, Blue Planet UK weekdays

Chris Packham, Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin present a week of live programmes on aquatic wildlife. Plus, Blue Planet UK weekdays

Back in 2017, Blue Planet II made us sit up and take notice of the stark challenges facing our oceans.

This week, the wonders of our marine life and the issues threatening its survival are brought into focus with three live reports from across the world (today, Wednesday and Thursday).

While Chris Packham tests the health of whales in Mexico, Liz Bonnin is at the Great Barrier Reef to examine the diminishing coral there, and Steve Backshall dives with sharks in the Bahamas to learn how they are being protected.

Each afternoon from Monday (4.30pm), Gillian Burke and Steve Brown look at the state of British waters and their wildlife in Blue Planet UK.

TV Times rating: *****


Blue Planet UK

Steve Brown and Gillian Burke present

Here Gillian, 43, and Steve, 37, tell TV Times why they hope the series will inspire the nation…

What was it about this show that appealed to you?

Steve: The coast was a huge part of my upbringing – I lived on the Isle of Sheppey, and I’ll be showing off the Kent coastline in the series.

During filming I discovered how much people want to protect what we’ve got.

Gillian: Conservation stories feel far away but this brings the message home that stuff is happening on our shores and this is an island nation surrounded by sea.

I live in Cornwall and see the sea almost every day but not many people do, so we want to show how deeply connected we all are to it.

Who did you meet while filming?

Steve: I spoke to Rex, a fisherman from Filey in Yorkshire, who’s my new best friend!

He was upset that marine birds were getting caught in his clear plastic nets, so he changed them for dark nets, and because his floats looked like birds, he’s changed their colour and shape, too.

The other fishermen followed his lead and the number of birds getting caught is going down.

I also met Rob in Cornwall, who was fed up of kayaking around plastic, so now he gets it recycled and turned into kayaks.

It’s about individuals making small changes to the way they live or work.

Gillian: In Cornwall, I spent a day with two oyster fishermen. To preserve the oyster beds, dredging is only done under sail and when there’s an ‘r’ in the month, so it’s sustainable.

I loved the interaction between the tradition, the people and the wildlife.

Do you think viewers will be surprised?

Steve: Yes, we look at species that haven’t been seen due to pollution or overfishing but are now back in our waters, like the spiny lobster.

Gillian: And we show that we have sharks and even coral reefs here!

Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.