Chris Packham, Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin present a week of live programmes on aquatic wildlife. Plus, Blue Planet UK weekdays
Back in 2017, Blue Planet II made us sit up and take notice of the stark challenges facing
This week, the wonders of our marine life and the issues threatening its survival are brought into focus with three live reports from across the world (today, Wednesday and Thursday).
While Chris Packham tests the health of whales in Mexico, Liz Bonnin is at the Great Barrier Reef to examine the diminishing coral there, and Steve Backshall dives with sharks in the Bahamas to learn how they are being protected.
TV Times rating: *****
Here Gillian, 43, and Steve, 37, tell TV Times why they hope the series will inspire the nation…
What was it about this show that appealed to you?
Steve: The coast was a huge part of my upbringing – I lived on the Isle of Sheppey, and I’ll be showing off the Kent coastline in the series.
During filming I discovered how much people want to protect what we’ve got.
Gillian: Conservation stories feel far away but this brings the message home that stuff is happening on our shores and this is an island nation surrounded by sea.
I live in Cornwall and see the sea almost every day but not many people do, so we want to show how deeply connected we all are to it.
Who did you meet while filming?
Steve: I spoke to Rex, a fisherman from Filey in Yorkshire, who’s my new best friend!
He was upset that marine birds were getting caught in his clear plastic nets, so he changed them for dark nets, and because his floats looked like birds, he’s changed their colour and shape, too.
The other fishermen followed his lead and the number of birds getting caught is going down.
I also met Rob in Cornwall, who was fed up of kayaking around plastic, so now he gets it recycled and turned into kayaks.
It’s about individuals making small changes to the way they live or work.
Gillian: In Cornwall, I spent a day with two oyster fishermen. To preserve the oyster beds, dredging is only done under sail and when there’s an ‘r’ in the month, so it’s sustainable.
I loved the interaction between the tradition, the people and the wildlife.
Do you think viewers will be surprised?
Steve: Yes, we look at species that haven’t been seen due to pollution or overfishing but are now back in our waters, like the spiny lobster.
Gillian: And we show that we have sharks and even coral reefs here!