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Stephen Fry to front Harry Potter inspired BBC1 show about Fantastic Beasts

Stephen Fry who will front a new Harry Potter documntary for BBC1
(Image credit: David M. Benett)

The documentary will explore the origins and stories of mythical creatures from J.K. Rowling’s stories and their connections with animals roaming the planet today

Stephen Fry will present a “magical” new BBC1 documentary inspired by the Harry Potter stories.

Produced in partnership with Warner Bros. and London’s Natural History Museum, the documentary will explore the origins and stories of mythical creatures and the fantastical beasts from J.K. Rowling’s stories.

Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History promises to take viewers “on an incredible journey from the hidden corridors of London's Natural History Museum to the frozen steppes of Siberia and secret caves of Madagascar”.

Centaurs, the Phoenix and 11,000-year-old woolly rhinos are just some of the creatures that will feature in the documentary, which looks at both imagined and real beasts.

J.K. Rowlings latest book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Harry Potter stories have featured many fantastical beasts (credit: Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Telling the stories and surprising science behind the specimens at the museum, it will include elements which “will be immediately recognisable to fans of Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts film series”.

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Presenter Stephen Fry, who provided narration for the Harry Potter audiobooks, said: “I could not be more delighted to be a part of this magnificent opportunity for us Muggles to show the wizarding world that the fantastic beasts in our world are more than a match for theirs.

“Joining forces with the combined powers of the fabulous BBC, its legendary Natural History Unit and the magical Natural History Museum we hope to be able to bring you closer than you’ve ever been to some of the most spectacular and extraordinary creatures ever seen.”

London's Natural History Museum

London's Natural History Museum will put on an exhibition in the spring which ties in with the series (credit: Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

The documentary will feature the Natural History Museum’s exhibition, titled Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, which will open in the spring. Visitors will come face to face with legendary beasts and see amazing specimens.

Josh Berger CBE, President & MD, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK and President, Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, says: "It is hugely exciting to be working with the Natural History Museum and the BBC Natural History Unit, such iconic British institutions, on a project which has such a great purpose at its heart. I hope both fans of the Wizarding World and the natural world will enjoy the exhibition and documentary immensely."

It’s not yet been revealed when Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History will be shown on BBC1.

Main picture: David M. Benett

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!