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GE­OR­GIA HUMPHREYS

Burton Mail - - Tv Highlights -

Sir David At­ten­bor­ough nar­rates Dy­nas­ties, which doc­u­ments the lives of five of the most cel­e­brated and en­dan­gered an­i­mals on the planet. The broad­caster talks to about the chal­lenges of mak­ing the se­ries and why view­ers will find it a wel­come re­lief from the daily news cy­cle IR David At­ten­bor­ough thought that the pro­duc­ers of new wildlife se­ries

Dy­nas­ties were mad when he first heard their idea.

The plan for each episode was to spend time on one an­i­mal at a fork in the road and with a life about to change fun­da­men­tally de­pend­ing on which di­rec­tion it took.

Pick­ing the fam­i­lies for these in-depth sto­ries – which crews spent hun­dreds of days in a sin­gle lo­ca­tion film­ing – was a huge risk.

“You can’t tell whether any­thing’s go­ing to hap­pen and you’ve got to be there and avail­able if some­thing does and, at the end of it, noth­ing may have hap­pened,” says 92-yearold Sir David, who was born in West

Lon­don.

“What are you go­ing to do then?

It’s a huge fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment.”

How­ever, the de­ci­sion paid off, as the much-loved nar­ra­tor of the se­ries adds gen­tly: “Ex­tra­or­di­nary, in­ter­est­ing things did hap­pen in all five that they chose.”

First off, there’s a chim­panzee leader bat­tling for his po­si­tion and his life on the edge of the Sa­hara, while in the sec­ond episode thou­sands of em­peror pen­guins in

Antarc­tica gather to face the cold­est and cru­ellest win­ter on Earth.

In the African sa­van­nah, we meet a pow­er­ful li­on­ess, aban­doned by her male pro­tec­tors. Then, on the flood­plains of Zim­babwe, the fo­cus is on a feud be­tween a mother and daugh­ter painted wolf. Last but not least, we see a ti­gress at­tempt­ing to raise her fam­ily in the jun­gles of

In­dia, un­der ever-grow­ing pres­sure from her ri­vals and hu­man­ity.

Dy­nas­ties fol­lows on from the suc­cess of award-win­ning se­ries such as 2016’s Planet Earth II, which drew record-break­ing view­ing fig­ures for a na­ture show, and Blue

Planet II – the most-watched TV show of 2017. They fur­ther ce­mented the po­si­tion of pre­sen­ter

Sir David as a na­tional trea­sure.

Blue Planet II was par­tic­u­larly

Smem­o­rable for high­light­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal catas­tro­phe tak­ing place in our oceans.

Around 8.5 bil­lion plas­tic straws are thrown away each year, con­tribut­ing to the more than 150 mil­lion tonnes of plas­tic in the world’s oceans.

“When you talk to the peo­ple who were work­ing on that, they were all ab­so­lutely ag­o­nised by the amount of plas­tic, just ev­ery­where,” says Sir David.

Fol­low­ing on from the as­ton­ish­ing re­sponse to Blue Planet II, it has been an­nounced plas­tic straws, drinks stir­rers and cot­ton buds could be banned from sale in Eng­land un­der plans be­ing set out by Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May.

Asked if the aim of Dy­nas­ties is to have a sim­i­lar im­pact on Govern­ment pol­icy, Sir David rea­sons: “We all have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as ci­ti­zens but our pri­mary job is to make a se­ries of pro­grammes which are grip­ping and truth­ful and speak about some­thing quite im­por­tant, and to tell it in its round full­ness.

“These aren’t eco­log­i­cal pro­grammes, they’re not pros­e­lytis­ing pro­grammes, they’re not alarmist pro­grammes.

“What they are, which I ad­mire these guys (the pro­duc­ers) for, is a new form of wildlife film-mak­ing.”

LIAM BAKES

Mon­day, Chan­nel 4, 8pm

IN A new se­ries, for­mer Great Bri­tish Bake Off con­tes­tant Liam Charles brings a fresh per­spec­tive to bak­ing with recipes that blend pop cul­ture, nos­tal­gia and his Ja­maican her­itage, with his play­ful, in­quis­i­tive and cre­ative ap­proach to in­gre­di­ents open­ing up new pos­si­bil­i­ties for fun and in­ven­tive cook­ing.

DAN CRUICK­SHANK’S MON­U­MENTS OF REMEMBRANCE

Tues­day, BBC4, 9pm AT THE end of the First World War, Bri­tain faced a dif­fi­cult ques­tion – how could it pay a fit­ting and last­ing trib­ute to the un­prece­dented num­ber of sol­diers who had died?

Dan Cruick­shank ex­plores the cre­ation of the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion, and the role played by Sir Fabian Ware, who, as a Com­man­der of a Mo­bile Am­bu­lance Unit dur­ing the early stages of the war, had been shocked by the treat­ment of the dead.

He also vis­its ceme­ter­ies in France, Bel­gium and Turkey to dis­cover the chal­lenges of mem­o­ral­is­ing sol­diers from dif­fer­ent re­li­gions and back­grounds. Dan Cruick­shank

David, the Al­pha male of a group of 32 chim­panzees in Sene­gal, West Africa the lives of Bri­tish and colo­nial sol­diers killed dur­ing the con­flict and now, to mark the cen­te­nary of the war’s con­clu­sion, this pro­gramme ex­am­ines the sto­ries be­hind the art­work.Nar­rated by Sean Bean. Sir David At­ten­bor­ough

For­mer Bake Off star Liam Charles

Ce­ramic pop­pies from the Tower of Lon­don in­stal­la­tion

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