Bosses blast ri­val over new na­ture se­ries… and for ‘nick­ing’ Sir David

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY NICOLA METHVEN TV Ed­i­tor

BBC bosses have branded Net­flix show Our Planet a rip-off of their own pro­grammes about Earth and ac­cused the net­work of steal­ing pre­sen­ter Sir David At­ten­bor­ough.

The 92-year-old broad­caster will voice all eight episodes of the lav­ish se­ries, filmed over four years by a 600-strong crew scat­tered around the globe.

In­sid­ers in­sist it is a copy of the award-win­ning shows pro­duced ev­ery year by the Nat­u­ral His­tory Unit, par­tic­u­larly Planet Earth.

Our Planet was made by for­mer NHU chief Alas­tair Fothergill, who has a long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with Sir David.

A unit source said: “They’ve nicked the film­ing tech­niques, UK View­ers:


Big­gest drama bud­get: View­ers:


Big­gest drama bud­get: the sto­ries, even the ti­tle from us, not to men­tion the pre­sen­ter. And it’s been made by an EX-BBC pro­ducer who still makes nat­u­ral his­tory pro­grammes for the BBC. There is noth­ing in any way orig­i­nal about this se­ries. The only dif­fer­ence is they used 600 crew for work we’d have done with around 60. Sir David will al­ways be part of the BBC. This is not the end of the re­la­tion­ship with him. We’ve just lent him to Net­flix.”

Shot in 50 coun­tries, the Net­flix se­ries will be re­leased to sub­scribers in April.

Sir David’s lat­est land­mark BBC1 show Dy­nas­ties, with a heart-rend­ing story about the plight of an Al­pha male chimp, starts to­mor­row. The vet­eran pre­sen­ter cur­rently has no fewer than three se­ries in pro­duc­tion for BBC1, as well as smaller in­di­vid­ual projects.

Fol­low­ing Dy­nas­ties, he will re­turn next year with Seven Worlds, an ex­am­i­na­tion of the dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents.

That is to be fol­lowed by Per­fect Planet in 2020, pro­duced by Fothergill’s com­pany Sil­ver­back Films.

Sir David is ex­pected to nar­rate the shows and pos­si­bly take part in the film­ing, where cir­cum­stances al­low.

The NHU’S Frozen Planet II is ex­pected for 2021, when Sir David will be 95.

Plans for this fol­low-up se­ries emerged when pro­duc­ers ad­ver­tised for crew to work in icy cli­mates.

Sir David has in the past worked on projects for broad­cast­ers other than the BBC, in­clud­ing Sky, but this work is al­ways markedly dif­fer­ent to what he does for the cor­po­ra­tion.

VET­ERAN Sir David

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