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06/08/2015

Big Blue Live Announced For BBC One

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A new live natural history series is to air on BBC One later this month, looking at the marine life to be found at California's Monterey Bay.

Each August, blue whales, humpbacks, sea lions, dolphins and great white sharks are just some of the animals that journey to the food-rich waters. Some of the animals were previously hunted to the brink of extinction, but hunting has stopped and the seas are protected, meaning the animals have returned.

Big Blue Live will see Matt Baker, Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall reporting live from Monterey Bay to welcome the animals as they arrive, as well as uncover the science behind each animal's journey. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall meanwhile will invest the success behind the conservation efforts and how a safe future can be ensured for all sea life.

Made by the BBC's Natural History Unit and co-produced by American public broadcaster PBS, Big Blue Live will broadcast live from Monterey Bay Aquarium and the surrounding waters and shoreline of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California. Scientists from research centres, including the aquarium, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will join the presenters, informing viewers of their current research and scientific discoveries.

James Honeyborne, Executive Producer, Big Blue Live, said: "This is the story of an extraordinary gathering, at a unique place, at one special moment in time. With Big Blue Live we are going to explore, understand and celebrate this gathering – providing a real-time adventure above, on and beneath the waves. It's a story that will inspire viewers of all ages."

In addition to the live programmes, viewers can access additional stories, live updates, news and photos at bbc.co.uk/bigbluelive and via Big Blue Live Facebook, Big Blue Live Twitter and following #bigbluelive on social media. Big Blue Live Twitter will also host Periscope live streams throughout the series.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and a team of marine enthusiasts will also follow the animals to be found in UK waters this summer, in Big Blue UK. He will be joined by presenter Lindsey Chapman and wildlife filmmaker Richard Taylor Jones.

Dan McGolpin, Controller of BBC Daytime, said: "Big Blue UK will be a really exciting marine wildlife week, hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and made by the BBC's Natural History Unit, for BBC One Daytime. It will provide the UK focus and a perfect complement to some thrilling scenes occurring in Monterey Bay, California. Big Blue UK is an example of the kind of ambitious TV event that I'm keen to bring to the 9:15am slot. It will be packed with interesting content, enjoyable to watch and relevant to the daytime audience."

Broadcast details for Big Blue Live and Big Blue UK will be confirmed soon.

Big Blue Live, 3x60, is a BBC Production with PBS, distributed by BBC Worldwide. It will be executive produced by James Honeyborne and series produced by Adam White for the BBC's Natural History Unit. Craig Hunter is the commissioning editor.

Big Blue Live was commissioned for BBC by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and Tom McDonald, Head of Natural History and Specialist Factual Formats.

Vice President of Programming and Development, Bill Gardner, and Senior Director of Programming and Development, Bill Margol, will oversee the project for PBS.

www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre

(JP)
VMI.TV Ltd

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