Channel 5 is expanding its natural history programming.

Hugh Bonneville is to lend his voice to one of two new UK-based wildlife series announced by Channel 5.

The former Downton Abbey star will channel his inner Sir David Attenborough as he narrates new eight-part series Wild Britain, which has been described by the channel as one of the most ambitious wildlife projects it has ever undertaken.

The programme will explore the outer reaches of the UK to capture the wildlife across the country, looking at the more unusual creatures that inhabit the island and the key moments in their lives that are rarely seen on camera.

Wild Britain
Wild Britain (Channel 5)

Dr Martha Holmes, who leads wildlife production for Plimsoll, producers of Wild Britain, said the programme was “an incredible team feat”.

“We were amazed to discover new behaviour and film so many things that are rarely seen. And it was wonderful to be able to give so many young camera operators their big break to network.”

Another new series, Nocturnal Britain, will delve into the secret night-time lives of Britain’s animals by using new lowlight camera technology.

The three-part series will be fronted by a team of three presenters.

Ben Frow, Channel 5 Director of Programmes, said: “Natural history has an important place on the channel and these new commissions underline our ambition to deliver high-quality and innovative programming across a range of genres.”