When I was approached by Oxford Scientific Films last year, for a new wildlife series with Julian Clary, I was somewhat bemused! Julian Clary was not a name synonomous with wildlife, so I wanted to find out more.
I soon discovered that the producer of the series was going to be Simon Nash, award-winning producer, working on groundbreaking TV shows for over 20 years. His impressive CV boasts flagship programmes such as Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and Animal Diaries.
To add to this, I also discovered that a heroine of mine, Justine Evans, was also going to be playing a part. Justine is a camera-woman who has travelled all over the world, capturing truly stunning images and footage of incredible wildlife spectacles. Justine is one of the Natural History Unit’s most sought after wildlife filmmakers. She has worked on the BBC’s most prestigious wildlife series such as Planet Earth, Life and Frozen Planet.Over the last twenty years her work has taken her to a diverse range of locations all over the world. She has filmed in the Arctic, tropical and temperate forests, deserts, mountains, caves and all the bits in between. More recently Justine has moved in front of the camera and appeared on screen in the natural history expeditions strand Lost Land of the Jaguar, Lost Land of the Tiger and The Dark: Nature’s Nighttime World.
As you can imagine, I was soon agreeing to be part of the series, hoping the ‘Nature Nuts’ title was Julian’s idea!! Having said that, I have been completely obsessed with wildlife from a young age, and I suppose some people would see me as a bit of a Nature ‘Nut’!!!
I don’t want to give too much away until the show, but this new programme is soon to be aired as a three part series on a Sunday on ITV at 7pm. The first of the programmes in THIS Sunday 2nd August and I feature, along with friends Joan Lockley and Russell Savory. It was great fun to film and we had a lot of giggles, so I think it is going to be quite funny… in typical Julian fashion!
This release by ITV, sums up the series and I just can’t wait to see it on Sunday. we have not seen any previews, so will be hiding behind the sofa cushions on Sunday….. let me know what you think!
Since moving to the countryside, Britain’s most beloved camp comedian Julian Clary has become passionate about nature. In a brand new adventure, he goes in search of Britain’s most fanatical wildlife lovers, affectionately referred to as his ‘Nature Nuts’.
“Julian travels all over the UK for the three-part series, discovering an extraordinary range of nature fans obsessed by the creatures in their backyards and beyond. Julian and his expert film crew, boasting some of the UK’s most talented natural history cameramen and women, play fairy godmother to our Nature Nuts by capturing sight of their favourite creatures in ways they’ve never seen before.
With some of the best new technology including starlight, high speed, mini aerial and underwater cameras, the Nature Nuts are given once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch their favourite animals in their natural habitat.
Jam-packed with Julian’s trademark humour, Nature Nuts is full of great characters and fantastic wildlife footage. Each week Julian meets four Nature Nuts and finds out about four species of wonderful wildlife in Britain.
In episode one, Julian and the team travel to Walsall in the West Midlands to visit Joan Lockley who runs her very own ‘Hedgehog Hosprickal’. Joan has helped over 5,000 hedgehogs back into the wild and gets deeply attached to her patients. With the help of expert Dr Richard Yarnell and his technology, Julian and the team are able track the progress of one of Jo’s precious patients after he is released back into the wild. Jo is overwhelmed with emotion at the prospect of tracking her hedgehog’s movements.
Next, the team are on to Lichfield to meet Nature Nut number two, Kate MacRae, who captures the activity of our feathered friends, with numerous cameras placed around her garden and inside her bird boxes, which she streams onto the internet.
The team also visit a quiet bank, filled with holes from badger sets. Despite spending many hours watching the bank in the hope of spotting the badgers, Kate has never caught so much as a glimpse of them.
Together with expert wildlife camerawoman, Justine Evans and some military technology which means her camera can work with just the light of the moon, Julian and Kate head to a tent in the nearby woods to see if they can catch sight of a very elusive family of badgers.
In Stowe Maries, Julian meets Russell Savory and turns his attention to the water vole, a creature that is fast disappearing due to reintroduced mink and loss of habitat.
In Tyne and Wear, Julian meets otter spotter Kevin O’Hara and then it’s down to Dorset for one final trip to introduce him to retired trout farmer and fellow otter fanatic Stewart Canham. After capturing footage of otters playing, the last leg of Julian’s journey sees him and Stewart make a trip to a very special otter sanctuary.”
Julian says of the show: “It’s a lovely departure for me into a world I have always been interested in, since I was a child, even though people don’t expect that from me.
“I have been working with amazing cameramen who know to get the perfect shot of a water vole.
“I was sitting in a field at 2am waiting for badgers to appear.
“They are finding people around the country who have a very keen interest in the wildlife in their back gardens. I go and chat to them and we bring in our state of the art cameras to film their foxes and so on.
“I love my own local wildlife. I have bird feeders in the garden and have visits from tits and finches as well as a woodpecker.
“I’ve also put up a bat house because there are bats around.
“I would love do present a more adventurous TV show on wildlife in Africa, with tigers and lions and so on.”
I will be writing another ‘behind the scenes’ blog post after the show… but until then I will have to wait with baited breath, until Sunday!!