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Drowning in Plastic Among BBC’s Natural-History Commissions


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BBC has ordered several natural-history programs, including Drowning in Plastic and The Truth About What You Wear.

In the special Drowning in Plastic for BBC One, science and wildlife presenter Liz Bonnin sets out to reveal the full scale of the world’s plastic problem, as well as explore ways in which this environmental disaster can be averted and whether science can offer a solution.

Bonnin remarked: “I’ve been studying wildlife in some of the most remote and spectacular parts of the planet for over a decade now and I’ve had the great privilege of exploring many of our magnificent oceans and even their depths. All of it has instilled in me an enormous admiration and respect for our marine environments. But I’ve also been horrified at the scale of the plastic pollution I’ve found along countless shorelines and out in the open sea.

“As an island nation and as a global species, we have a responsibility to address the way we view, use and dispose of plastics to prevent this problem from becoming a catastrophe. Hope lies in scientific research, but each and every one of us can become a part of the solution as responsible custodians of our blue planet. I hope that our film will serve to inform and inspire to this end.”

The Truth About What You Wear, also for BBC One, looks on as Stacey Dooley investigates the true cost of the clothes we wear. The special will be accompanied by specially commissioned new short-form content on BBC Three.

Dooley said: “Ten years ago I was involved in Blood, Sweat and T-shirts, which brought to the attention of young consumers, like myself, the human rights abuses in the clothing industry. Although there’s still a long way to go, some real improvements have been made here. However, many consumers, myself included, are unaware of the devastating environmental impact that the clothing industry is having on our natural world. It’s hugely important that we all become aware of the damage being caused and to show consumers that we have the power to make positive change.”

In the four-part Spy in the Wild II (working title), the next generation of state-of-the-art spy creatures go undercover to infiltrate nature’s greatest gatherings. Featuring a whole new team of spy creatures who look and behave even more like the real thing, viewers will be taken right into the heart of the action to witness amazing natural events from a completely new perspective.

Ordered for BBC Two, Equator from the Air sees wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan make a 25,000-mile journey around the center of the world to conduct a planetary health-check from the air.

Tom McDonald, the head of commissioning natural history and specialist factual at the BBC, said: “2017 was an extraordinary year for natural history at the BBC, with awards across BAFTA, Grierson and the Emmys as well as stand-out performances for Spy in the Wild, Wild Alaska Live and Blue Planet II, and we have a fantastic range of titles commissioned for 2018 and beyond.

“These new commissions signal not only our continued commitment to capturing extraordinary new animal behavior but also our responsibility to capture the unprecedented speed at which the natural world is changing.

“Habitats and species all over the world are under threat and many of our new commissions will tackle the big issues head-on, with some of our most recognized talent exploring the global challenges our planet faces.”



About Sara Alessi

Sara Alessi is the associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at salessi@worldscreen.com.

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