It’s not often you get to hang out with one of your heroes and surely Sir David Attenborough is one for everyone. The Wildlife expert and legend was present as we were treated to the first public viewing of an episode of his upcoming series Galapagos 3D, that’s due to screen on Sky 3D and Sky 1 HD in the New Year.
Galapagos 3D With David Attenborough is set to explore the history of the iconic islands that lay in the Pacific Ocean, some 1,000km from South America. They’re often described as a ‘living museum and showcase of evolution‘, and an absolute melting pot of marine species. What’s particularly unique, however, is because of the the ongoing seismic and volcanic activity, the animal life has created some usual species including the marine iguana, the giant tortoise and heck, even a spider and scorpion hybrid that lives in the dark. The islands even inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution after his visit in 1835, so we were in many kinds of unique company.
One of Sir David’s personal favourite moments of his visit to the Islands, was when he met the oldest tortoise in the world Lonesome George and he had this to say to us:
“We arrived to film Lonesome George 30 minutes before the public were allowed in, he was asleep and of course the temptation is to ask him politely to wake up! We had to wait until he stuck his head out his shell, which of course in the end, he did and he looked me straight in the eye. I was able to deliver my lines to camera, and then he turned and creaked off! Sadly, a fortnight later, he died in his sleep.”
“It was a privilege to see him and I’m grateful to the Galapagos authorities for letting us in, he was an old Gentleman, and I know how he feels!”
Sir Attenborough laughed with the audience on his last line, as he works towards celebrating an amazing 61 years in broadcasting next year. Also sitting on a panel was Anthony Geffen, Executive Producer and CEO of Atlantic Productions and Head of Sky 3D, Celia Taylor. When asked how long the series took to make, Anthony said:
“We made it in a year, with six months of shooting, which is a record for David, he normally takes four years!” he continued There’s a lot of red tape, it’s a difficult place to work, but the team did a fantastic job out there,” said Geffen. “We worked very closely with the scientists to make sure that we tread very carefully, everywhere we went.”
Celia Taylor was keen to point out that the whole team was very aware of the special nature of their visit:
“In order to make sure we had no impact on the Islands, the team had to bag their clothes up, make sure they had clean clothes, it’s all very tightly organised.”
Sir David also commented on his thoughts on filming this series for 3D and the changes in technology, really interesting to hear how he’s seen every moment in television and the changes:
“Having started on 405 smeary pictures, in black and white, all filmed live, I know what primitive TV is like. 3D is the latest element of conveying information about the reality that is in front of the camera. If you’re viewing things that are close to you, you suddenly see things in 3D that you would have never seen in 2D.“
And when asked about his favourite place to go on holiday, Attenborough said fondly:
“There’s a little place, not far from here. Richmond in Surrey has everything I need.”
The night closed with a few drinks and another gathering in room that had been created to look like a jungle, filled with themed food and further discussion. The episode we saw was the second in the series and we’re massively looking forward to the full visuals once it begins on New Years Day.
GALAPGOS 3D WITH DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, a ground-breaking new three part series, will premieres on New Years Day at 7pm, with the following episodes airing on Saturday 5th and 12th January. The series will also be simulcast in 2D on Sky 1 HD. Click here for all the information and also Galapagos 3D with David Attenborough – Watch the trailer