Entertainment & Arts

BBC commissions Blue Planet follow up

Dophins in the sea
Image caption New programme Dolphin: Spy In The Pod will use cameras disguised as sea creatures to get closer to dolphins, dubbed Tunacam, Turtlecam and Squidcam

The BBC has announced more than 50 hours of natural history programming, including follow-ups to hugely popular Blue Planet and Planet Earth series.

Many shows will utilise new filming techniques, such as Countdown To The Rains, which will see 75 cameras along a stretch of Africa's Luangwa River.

While Sleepover At The Zoo will feature a team of experts staying up all night at Bristol Zoo.

They will be broadcast across BBC One, Two and Four over the next few years.

New series Oceans will continue where the award-winning programme Blue Planet left off in 2001.

It will look at some of the marine species that have been discovered over the past decade.

These include the bizarre-looking blanket octopus, the "alarmingly hairy" yeti crab and the velvet belly lanternshark which uses a light-sabre style glowing spine to defeat its enemies.

The Hunt will explore the competition between predators and their prey, including footage of polar bears filmed hunting bearded seals for the very first time.

Tunacam and Squidcam

Dolphins, tigers and kangaroos will all get their own dedicated series.

Dolphin: Spy In The Pod uses spycams disguised as sea creatures - dubbed Tunacam, Turtlecam and Squidcam - to get even closer to some of the most loved animals in the world.

A decade on from Planet Earth, the new six-part series One Planet will provide "the ultimate tour of an iconic ecosystem".

It will look at how animals and plants evolve in response to areas as diverse as mountains, deserts, wild islands and man-made cities.

"By using new filming techniques, peerless research and great storytelling, the next few years are all about shows that will delight our UK and global audiences," said the BBC's head of commissioning for natural history and science, Kim Shillinglaw.

She continued: "From new discoveries in Oceans and never-before-filmed behaviour in The Hunt, to assembling 75 cameras in one place for Countdown To The Rains and the ground-breaking spirit of our Sleepover At The Zoo Event, we've never had as much range, scale and innovation to offer."

Top Gear's Richard Hammond will front a three-part series called Big Weather, which will see him flying a light aircraft into a hailstorm and releasing robot drones into a hurricane.

Three-part series Countdown to the Rains, which began filming from the moment the African dry season ended, will air on BBC Two from Sunday 3 November, presented by Kate Humble and Simon King.

Other highlights include in-depth looks at Alaska, Japan, Patagonia and New Zealand; and Talk to the Animals, which will feature real life Dr Doolittle Lucy Cooke on a mission to understand how animals communicate.

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