Friday, June 2, 2023
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BBC One Commissions The Man Who Loves Kelp


Big Wave Productions has been commissioned to produce The Man Who Loves Kelp (w.t.) as part of the BBC One strand Our Lives.

Told through the eyes of 73-year-old lorry driver and free diver Eric Smith and his daughter, the 30-minute documentary tells the story of the kelp forest that used to flourish off the south coast of the British Isles until trawlers destroyed 96 percent of it. Smith’s lobbying of a local Sussex authority helped initiate a landmark plan that banned trawling to allow the seabed to recover.

The film follows Smith as he free dives and witnesses the forest’s slow return. It will also show how friends, family and social media helped this become a success story.

“This film not only exemplifies the kind of programming Big Wave does best—telling important stories about the natural world—it’s also very close to our hearts,” said Sarah Cunliffe, founder and CEO of Big Wave Productions. “Eric’s story is an inspiration to us all that each one of us can help make change and we are thrilled to be bringing this story to BBC One.”

About Jamie Stalcup

Jamie Stalcup is the associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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