BBC Factual Three New Natural History Programmes; Hidden Planet, Hamza’s Hidden Wild Isles, and Expedition Killer Whale

BBC Factual Hamza

BBC Factual has announced three new natural history programmes: Hidden Planet, a five-part landmark series; Hamza’s Hidden Wild Isles, a four-part series; and Expedition Killer Whale, a standalone film. These productions follow the release of the BBC Bristol Economic Impact Report, which highlighted the significant contribution of the BBC Studios Natural History Unit (NHU) to Bristol’s economy and the wider region’s “media boom”.

The Impact of the BBC Studios Natural History Unit

The BBC Bristol Economic Impact Report revealed that the NHU has been a driving force behind Bristol’s thriving media industry. With a presence in the city since the 1940s, the NHU has produced world-leading natural history programming for 67 years, including renowned series such as Planet Earth III, Frozen Planet II, Dynasties II, and the currently airing Mammals.

The report showed that natural history production accounted for 44.2% (£127.2 million) of the Bristol screen production industry’s £288 million turnover in 2022. Bristol’s creative sector grew by 74% between 2015 and 2020, with the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol) attributing this growth in part to the presence of the BBC as a major broadcaster in the region.

The BBC is the largest employer within Bristol’s TV and film industry, accounting for 45% of production section roles in 2022. The BBC Studios Natural History Unit’s productions have not only boosted the local economy but also fostered innovation and storytelling excellence, attracting talent and investment to the city.

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Hidden Planet

Hidden Planet is a five-part series that explores the hidden world of insects, the most successful and important animals on Earth. Premiering two decades after the groundbreaking series Life in the Undergrowth, Hidden Planet leverages revolutionary camera technology to reveal intricate insect behaviour and details as never seen before.

Across five globally filmed episodes, the series will showcase insects as devoted parents, masterful architects, and sophisticated communicators. It will also highlight their impact on the environment and our world.

The series is a BBC Studios Natural History Unit production, with Mike Gunton as Executive Producer, Paul Williams as Series Producer, and Scott Alexander as Series Editor. It is co-produced by The Open University and will air on BBC One and iPlayer.

Hamza’s Hidden Wild Isles

Hamza’s Hidden Wild Isles stars wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin, who takes viewers on a journey across the four countries of the UK, uncovering hidden wildlife gems in both urban and wild landscapes. From nocturnal encounters to masterfully camouflaged creatures, Hamza demonstrates that wildlife is all around us if we know where to look.

Each of the four episodes follows a seasonal narrative, capturing the unfolding of nature’s calendar throughout the year. With stunning aerial photography, breathtaking cinematography, and local wildlife footage, Hamza shares his trademark knowledge, warmth, and enthusiasm, inviting viewers to connect with nature wherever they are.

The series is produced by Silverback Films, the team behind BBC One’s landmark series Wild Isles and the acclaimed Hamza: Strictly Birds of Prey. It is co-produced by the National Trust and The Open University and will air on BBC One and iPlayer.

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Hamza Yassin is a renowned wildlife cameraman and presenter who has worked with the BBC on numerous projects. Born in Sudan in 1990, Yassin moved to the UK at age eight. He overcame dyslexia and initially pursued a career in sports before discovering his passion for wildlife filmmaking.

Yassin’s first foray into presenting was on BBC’s The One Show, and he has since become a familiar face on shows like CBeebies’ Let’s Go for a Walk and Ranger Hamza’s Eco Quest. He is also a regular on BBC’s Countryfile and has presented segments on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland.

Expedition Killer Whale

Expedition Killer Whale is a standalone film that examines the complex world of killer whales, the ocean’s greatest predators. In a remote corner of Antarctica, a team of experts embarks on an unprecedented expedition to study these compelling creatures.

Using cutting-edge technology, the team records the hunting methods and communication techniques of killer whales, decoding their language and assessing their chances of survival in a changing world.

The film is a BBC Studios Natural History Unit production for BBC and PBS with The WNET Group. Vanessa Coates directs and produces, and Orla Doherty serves as Executive Producer. It will air on BBC Two and iPlayer.

Image Credit: Hamza Yassin (Image: Ellie Hilton/Silverback Films/BBC)

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I'm Noah Masire, I look after UK TV News at Memorable TV. From the gripping crime of Happy Valley to the feel good storytelling of All Creatures Great & Small, I bring you the latest news about what's what and who's who in the world of iconic British TV shows. Stay tuned!