I'm currently filming in Sri Lanka for 'Monsoon' and I just realised that 10 years ago today I was in Lyme Regis at the very start of my TV adventure. I was on my first shoot filming giant ammonites for 'Journey of Life' - I haven't changed much!
My childhood passion was mostly for extinct and long-dead creatures. I was fascinated by fossils, having discovered my first ammonite on a Yorkshire beach when I was 8 years old. 15 years later, and after many more adventures in palaeontology, a chance opportunity arose when my CV landed on the right desk at the right time. A new BBC wildlife series called ‘Journey of Life’ was commissioned to explore evolution, and a palaeontologist was needed to do the research. Now I had to prove myself, and the first task was to find a location to film ammonites. A few days later I was on my first TV shoot heading to Britain’s Jurassic coast, where I had spent many months as undergraduate. My adventures in television had begun.
This giant ammonite was actually a replica that we used to show how big ammonites could grow. Made of polystyrene it squeaked as we rolled it down the beach. The look of gob-smack on the faces of jurassic coast fossil collectors was priceless!
Paul Williams and presenter Steve Leonard, Lyme Regis