Director James Brickell and his crew recently filmed parts of a new children’s wildlife documentary for the BBC in the lowveld. Brickell is not unfamiliar with the area having directed the last of the David Attenborough series – Life in Cold Blood - in the Hoedspruit region. Deadly 60 is produced by the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) for the channel CBBC (children’s BBC).
“It will chronicle presenter Steve Backshall’s race around the world to source the most deadly creatures he can find from insects to birds to mammals – nothing will escape his keen eye and attention,” says Debby Thomson, local facilitator for the crew. Steve is a well known naturalist and presenter in the United Kingdom and has been involved in a number of very successful BBC productions including “The really wild show” and his latest series which follows him and a number of others around the world as they explore new frontiers looking for previously un-identified or undocumented species.
As an avid adventurist, Steve thoroughly enjoyed his time in the region as he was able to combine adventure activities with his presentation of natural history and the deadly creatures.With each creature Steve chose to feature,he pitted himself against the animal to show just how hard it is for humans to try and do the very same thing these creatures do for daily survival.
These activities saw him climbing cliff faces to race an eagle, flying down a zip line just above a river to try and catch fish as does the fish eagle, stalking wildebeest and impala as does the wild dog.
He also played a soccer match against the local staff of Ntsiri and Motswari to indicate the importance of teamwork as is found in wild dog.In addition to comparing his abilities to specific animals, he also used adventure activities to find and source the animals he was focusing on, such as kayaking down the Blyde River to look for wild hippo, flying over the Klaserie in a Bantam ultralight aircraft to look for wild dog and sitting on a sofa in a snake pit at Khamai Reptile Park “debating” with owner, Donald Strydom, as to which snake is the most deadliest.