Sunday, 31 January 2010

How Earth Made Us - Sailing on one of the fastest boats in the World

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Some pics from sailing on one of the fastest boats in the world
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

How Earth Made Us - Sailing on one of the fastest boats in the World

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Some pics from sailing on one of the fastest boats in the world

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

How Earth Made Us - Filming in the Australian Outback

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The episode of 'How Earth Made Us' that I Assistant Produced is on BBC2 this Tuesday evening, 9pm. I may be bias, but I hope that you agree that this is a well crafted, beautiful, poetic, exciting and energetic exploration of the impact of the winds of human civilisation.


"Iain sets sail on one of the fastest racing boats ever built to explore the story of our turbulent relationship with the wind. Travelling to iconic locations including the Sahara desert, the coast of West Africa and the South Pacific, Iain discovers how people have exploited the power of the wind for thousands of years.

The wind is a force which at first sight appears chaotic. But the patterns that lie within the atmosphere have shaped the destiny of continents, and lie at the heart of some of the greatest turning points in human history."

One of the most beautiful places I filmed in for 'How Earth Made Us' was at Mount Connor, right at the heart of the Australian outback.



Some of my pics from traveling and filming in the Australian outback
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Finally I get to be a HERO - You can too!

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Keep watching and you might spot someone you recognise! Watch in full screen on the official website.

Friday, 22 January 2010

750th Clip NOW LIVE on BBC Wildlife Finder

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(Wildlife Finder video is only viewable by people within the UK)


Wildlife Finder now has over 750 video clips from 46 BBC Natural History programmes, clips from breathtaking and spectacular films such as 'Life in Cold Blood' 'Life' & 'Planet Earth' plus some gems from 'The Natural World' series. Wildlife Finder now has 523 species pages published - increasing weekly!!

This week you can see10 clips from the brand new series broadcasting on Sunday Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart - Fire and 6 new clips from Wednesday's Natural World The Secret Leopards

Don't forget you can always find all these new clips and other information from each programme on their respective programme pages…

Subscribe to the RSS feed and be the first to find out what's new.
Click on the orange link on the homepage: www.bbc.co.uk/wildlifefinder

The Great Rift - Africa's Wild Heart 'Fire'

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Starts this coming Sunday - 9pm on BBC-2
First of three programmes: "FIRE"

1/3: Fire: The Great Rift Valley – a vast crack spanning the length of East Africa – is the product of deep-seated geological forces which have spewed out a line of cloud-wreathed volcanoes stretching from Ethiopia to Tanzania. Their peaks provide a refuge for East Africa’s most extraordinary wildlife, including newly discovered and previously unfilmed species which have evolved surprising survival strategies to cope with their challenging mountain environment.
Series Producer: Phil Chapman


Photograph Copyright Justin Maguire

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Goodbye dearest NHM - a confession of my new love

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To my dearest Natural History Museum,

We have been together for as long as I can remember. You were the Mrs Robinson to my Benjamin Braddock, you seduced me and showed me the wonders and pleasures of nature. Even when I had to pay to be with you, I loved you (Nov 2009), I am the man I am today because of you.

You have always been easy to reach, easy to embrace, familiar and comforting. Do you remember the candle-lit evenings, the walks in the garden, the time we would spend alone in the dark when everyone else had gone home. You try so hard to spice things up and excite me... wildife photographer of the year, Darwin exhibits, even the flashing lights and sensuous interactives, I engaged with you on a level that few will ever know.

Today, as I think of your fair terracotta facade I know that my love for you is tarnished, tarnished by guilt. I can't go on sipping in your cafeteria, or stroking your romanesque columns while this guilt burns me up inside... Dearest BM it hurts to tell you that there is another in my life.


The reason I have neglected you, not visiting for weeks at a time, is because I have been spending time in Hertfordshire - cavorting with my new love in the Chiltern Hills. It was innocent to begin with, just a quick look at her stuffed dogs, or a stroke of her giraffe, but every time I visited, the connection grew stronger - to spend an hour in her company was worth the 50km drive. Eventually she let me open her cabinets to see the butterflys. That's when I knew I was in Love. It reminded me of the excitement I shared with you when I was first allowed access to the Palaeobotony collection.


She is from a good and generous family, she steals me away from the pressures of the city. With you I will always be in the shadows, lost amongst the millions of adoring fans. Everyone wants to be with you, to photograph you, to adore you. She may not have your glamour or fame,  but she enjoys the quiet life and a bit of quiet is something I need. She is your cousin... Natural History Museum at Tring.

Please forgive me, and remember the time when we would sit silently staring at the Plesiosaurs.

I have loved loving you and being loved by you.

Goodbye my darling.
Paul xxx
P.s. can we still be friends?



Natural History Museum at Tring

The Natural History Museum at Tring was the private museum of Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild, and is located in the grounds of the former Rothschild family home of Tring Park. The building was constructed in 1889 specifically to house his collection of mounted specimens and first opened to the public in 1892. Today it is run by the Natural History Museum.

Some of my photographs of the Museum at Tring

Created with flickr slideshow.

Monday, 18 January 2010

'How Earth Made Us' Trailer

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BBC Two, 9pm Tuesday 19th January

Friday, 15 January 2010

How Earth Made Us: Deep Earth

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'How Earth Made Us' starts on Tuesday January 19th on BBC Two at 9pm

Iain Stewart tells the epic story of how the planet has shaped our history. With spectacular images, surprising stories and a compelling narrative, the series discovers the central role played in human history by four different planetary forces.

In this first episode Iain explores the relationship between the deep Earth and the development of human civilisation. He visits an extraordinary crystal cave in Mexico, drops down a hole in the Iranian desert and crawls through seven-thousand-year-old tunnels in Israel.

His exploration reveals that throughout history, our ancestors were strangely drawn to fault line, areas which connect the surface with the deep interior of the planet. These fault lines gave access to important resources, but also brought with them great danger.

Official series web page



The Deadliest Place on Earth? The Giant Crystal Cave of Naica

Cueva de los Cristales is one of the most incredible and beautiful places on the planet - it also happens to be one of the deadliest.

'It's 50oC and has a humidity of 100%, less than a hundred people have been inside and it's so deadly that even with respirators and suits of ice you can only survive for 20 minutes before your body starts to fail. It’s the nearest thing to visiting another planet – it’s going deep inside our own.' Read the rest of an accounr by Assistant producer Paul Williams on his blog

Watch an exclusive behind the scenes interview with presenter Iain Stewart (unfortunately only viewable in the UK)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Deadly Crystal Cave: Exclusive behind the scenes interview with Iain Stewart

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Take a behind the scenes look to see how we fared when filming in the inhospitable conditions of the Giant Crystal Cave. Ian Stewart gives his personal account in this exclusive interview from 'How Earth Made Us'.

Watch the interview on our official BBC web page

Read my personal account and see more images here.

Watch a preview clip from the sequence here

'How Earth Made Us' starts on the 19th January, 9pm on BBCTwo.

In the first programme Iain explores the relationship between the deep Earth and the development of human civilisation. He visits an extraordinary crystal cave in Mexico, drops down a hole in the Iranian desert and crawls through seven-thousand-year-old tunnels in Israel.

His exploration reveals that throughout history, our ancestors were strangely drawn to fault line, areas which connect the surface with the deep interior of the planet. These fault lines gave access to important resources, but also brought with them great danger.



Presenter, Iain Stewart inside the remarkable Naica crystal cave. With temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius and a 100% humidity level, the caves prove to be a very hostile environment (copyright BBC)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

VIDEO: Deadliest Place on Earth? The Giant Crystal Cave 'How Earth Made Us'

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Cueva de los Cristales is one of the most incredible and beautiful places on the planet - it also happens to be one of the deadliest.

'It's 50oC and has a humidity of 100%, less than a hundred people have been inside and it's so deadly that even with respirators and suits of ice you can only survive for 20 minutes before your body starts to fail. It’s the nearest thing to visiting another planet – it’s going deep inside our own.' Read the rest of my account of filming in the cave & see some photos here.

'How Earth Made Us' starts on Tuesday January 19th on BBC Two at 9pm.

Outtakes & Funnies from 'How Earth Made Us'

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I've cut together some of the outtakes from 'How Earth Made Us'... keep an eye out for Iain's unfortunate hand placement! This should give you a flavour of some of the awesome places and exciting moments in the series.



Watch more extraordinary clips from 'How Earth Made Us'

'How Earth Made Us' starts on Tuesday January 19th on BBC Two at 9pm.

Walking through Fire - 'How Earth Made Us' Preview Clips

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'How Earth Made Us' starts on Tuesday January 19th on BBC Two at 9pm. To wet your appetite we've put a few clips on YouTube and on our official programme page

This is one of my favourite moments from the series. Professor Iain Stewart gets up close and personal with a raging fire. Thanks to the Gulfport Fire Department, Mississippi, for all their help in making this a real highlight of the series.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Horizon: The Secret Life of the Dog

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6th January 2009, BBC 2 9pm



We have an extraordinary relationship with dogs - closer than with any other animal on the planet. But what makes the bond between us so special?

Research into dogs is gaining momentum and scientists are investigating them like never before. From the latest fossil evidence, to the sequencing of the canine genome, to cognitive experiments, dogs are fast turning into the new chimps as a window into understanding ourselves.

Where does this relationship come from? In Siberia, a unique breeding experiment reveals the astonishing secret of how dogs evolved from wolves. Swedish scientists demonstrate how the human-dog bond is controlled by a powerful hormone also responsible for bonding mothers to their babies.

Why are dogs so good at reading our emotions? Horizon meets Betsy, the world's most intelligent dog and compares her incredible abilities to those of children. Man's best friend has recently gone one step further - helping us identify genes responsible for causing human diseases.

Producer/Director – Dan Child
Executive Producer – Andrew Cohen
For further details, please visit the programme link below:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pssgh

The Natural World: Birds of Paradise

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BBC 2 - 8PM
BBC HD – 11.30PM

“Typically unmissable.” THE GUARDIAN

Living in the depths of the New Guinea rainforest are the spectacular birds of paradise - creatures so beautiful that the first Europeans believed they must have fallen from heaven. Filming their bizarre courtship displays is the holy grail of wildlife film makers: some perform like iridescent acrobats, others make hypnotic pulsing sounds as they quiver and vibrate. David Attenborough narrates the film - he has been entranced by these birds since he was a boy and he introduces a team of New Guinean naturalists as they embark on a gruelling expedition to try to film ten Birds of Paradise deep in the heart of the rainforest.

Produced and directed by Harvey Jones
Series Editor TIM MARTIN