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Martin Clunes Islands of America Premieres Tues 5 Feb 2019 on ITV



“Everyone has an image of America: A land of big shops, bright lights and asphalt highways stretching right across the continent. But there is another America – and I set out to find it.” Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes embarks on an epic journey around the coast of America to discover what life is like on the surrounding islands for a new documentary series for ITV, Islands of America.

Following the successful series on the Islands of Britain and Is-lands of Australia, Martin has developed a fascination for the unique quality and appeal of island life, often in the most remote places on the planet.

This time he sets off on a 10,000 mile journey, from the west to the east, to explore the vast swathe of islands which are scat-tered beyond America’s shores. He travels from Hawaii’s islands of fire and Alaska’s islands of snow and ice, to the playgrounds of presidents off the New England coast.

Martin says: “I wanted to look beyond corporate America and dis-cover the other United States, out past the mainland margins, and what life is like on these unique and diverse islands.

“On this island journey I meet men and women who’ve lived through many of nature’s worst extremes. And it seems one thing they all share is a profound wisdom about these challenges.”

The first port of call on Martin’s journey is the lush, tropical Ha-waii. His exploration looks beyond Hawaii’s image as a tourist paradise, crammed with sun-kissed beaches and world class surfing, and into the havoc wreaked by advancing lava fields and smoking craters.

Martin arrives just as one of the most devastating eruptions in Hawaii’s recorded history hits worldwide news. Lava from Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, on the southern most Big Island, is destroying homes as it continues to spread. Resi-dents have to be evacuated to temporary shelters.

Martin meets the people who were displaced, relying on the chari-ty of other islanders for bare essentials as their homes were de-stroyed by the unstoppable progress of the black wall of molten lava.

The island of Molokai is just a short hop from the bustle of the popular Waikiki Beach, yet it’s a world apart. At its eastern end is Halawa Valley, an isolated spot still sacred to traditional Hawai-ians, whose Polynesian ancestors settled here 1,000 years ago. This is one of the oldest continually inhabited human settlements in Hawaii.

Martin meets a man whose family have never left this valley, even after the Tsunami of 1946. He learns how they have farmed there for centuries and sees how they still practice the same techniques as they farm and fish to live in this lush and sacred historic land-scape.

Leaving Hawaii Martin flies 2,500 miles north to the islands of Alaska, where the contrast couldn’t have been more extreme, from tropical rain forests to snow-fringed glaciers; from crowded beaches to some of America’s most sparsely populated territories.

On the biggest of Alaska’s islands, Kodiak, Martin goes in search of the legendary Kodiak bear: the world’s biggest brown bear. Isolated from mainland bears since the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago, they’ve grown bigger even than the fearsome mainland Griz-zly. His patience, waiting for six hours, is rewarded with sightings of eight bears including a mother and her two cubs.

The series producer is Ian Leese, who also directs episodes one and three. Tom McCarthy produces and directs episodes two and four. The executive producers are Bill Jones and Philippa Braithwaite.

Airdate: Tuesday 5 February 2019 at 9.00pm on ITV

Season 1 Episode 1 (of 4)



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