David Attenborough to present Blue Planet II

Even at 90 Sir David Attenborough shows no signs of slowing down.

Following the success of Planet Earth II, the BBC has confirmed the iconic naturalist will now present Blue Planet II, a sequel to the 2001 series on the world’s oceans, The Blue Planet.

A new seven part series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit will be broadcast later this year by the BBC.

Blue Planet II promises “even more ambitious filming and a fresh cast of extraordinary aquatic animals, spending some four years filming off every continent, and in all of the earth’s oceans, to immerse the audience in some of the most expansive but least known parts of our planet.”

David Attenborough said: “I am truly thrilled to be joining this new exploration of the underwater worlds which cover most of our planet, yet are still its least known”.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “The BBC’s world renowned natural history unit are set to captivate audiences once again with unmissable stories of ocean life presented by the one and only David Attenborough – it really doesn’t get much better than that!”

James Honeyborne, Executive Producer, said: “The Oceans are the most exciting place to be right now, because new scientific discoveries have given us a new perspective of life beneath the waves. Blue Planet II is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary new behaviours and remarkable new creatures. Showing a contemporary portrait of marine life, it will provide a timely reminder that this is a critical moment for the health of the world’s oceans.”

An Australian broadcaster has not yet been announced.

Blue Planet II explores the latest frontiers of scientific discovery, from icy-white polar seas to vibrant blues of the coral atolls, from the storm-tossed green Atlantic coastline to the black depths of the alien deep.

Viewers will encounter surprising new landscapes such as methane volcanoes which erupt in the Gulf of Mexico; and the so-called “Boiling Sea” phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean. And by taking two manned submersibles to explore the Antarctic deep at 1000m for the very first time, the series will bring a “new world” to the audience.

Astonishing new creatures, including hairy-chested Hoff crabs; snub fin dolphins that spit water through the air; and a tool-using tusk fish, have been filmed for the first time, and the crew was able to capture some extraordinary examples of behaviour, such as sophisticated hunting between a coral grouper and a reef octopus; giant trevally that catch flying birds in mid-air; and a dive with a sperm whale mother and calf, as she heads deep into the abyss to hunt.

The series’ camera teams have worked off every continent, and across every ocean, often in collaboration with marine scientists. They have developed new filming technologies, including UHD ‘tow cams’ that allow predatory fish and dolphins to be filmed front-on; UHD suction cams which enable the viewer to ‘travel’ on the back of large creatures such as whale sharks and orcas; and a UHD probe camera that immerses the viewer into the world of miniature marine life.

Blue Planet II, a 7×60’ for BBC One, is made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC America, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University. It is Executive Produced by James Honeyborne and Series Produced by Mark Brownlow, and was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual.

Blue Planet II will be launched to international TV buyers at BBC Worldwide Showcase 2017 (19th – 22nd February) with a special event dedicated to the series. BBC Worldwide Showcase is the world’s largest single-distributor sales market, attracting around 700 delegates from around the world.

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