Planet Earth Live with Julia Bradbury

May 3, 2012 by Amelia Saw at 2:48pm

 

julie bradbury planet earth

Credit: BBC/Andrew Hayes-Watkins

She’s about to embark on a project that the BBC has called their most ambitious wildlife experience to date.  From remote locations across the globe, renowned journalist Julia Bradbury will be creating Planet Earth Live – a project that sees her spend the month of May living alongside some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.

Working with fellow reporter, Richard Hammond, Bradbury will deliver live updates three times a week on the habits and daily dramas of baby elephants in Kenya, black bears in Minnesota, macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka, meerkats in South Africa, gray whales in the Pacific, and the lions of the Masai Mara.  

We managed to catch Julia for a chat before she embarked on her intrepid journey

julia bradbury

Credit: BBC/Andrew Hayes-Watkins

What is it about Planet Earth Live that sets it apart from all the other nature shows and documentaries out there?
Julia: This is going to be wildlife unfolding almost in real time.  We’re going to be live three times a week.  I’m going to be based in Minnesota with the black bears, watching the black bears and their cubs as they come out of hibernation and out of their dens and into the north wood of Minnesota, and Richard Hammond is going to be live in Kenya with the lions. He’ll be following a particular tribe and their cubs and following their story. 

I think the ability to be live with those animals three times a week, and really catch up on their stories as they’re happening is going to make it very different.  I think the viewer is going to feel much closer to the story and to the animals, and is hopefully going to engage with them in terms of being able to follow their story.

julia bradbury

Credit: BBC/Scott Tibbles

What difficulties or challenges do you foresee yourself coming up against making live animal documentaries?
You know live television can suddenly go wrong. You can lose satellite signals, so that’s a technical risk.  In terms of the wildlife, we can try to predict what we think might happen, but you can’t really rely on wildlife to behave in any set normal pattern.  So we can suggest what might happen throughout the month of May, but there’s no guarantee of any of it happening.

Why is raising awareness on the outdoors and wildlife important in the modern age?
Human beings are reaching every corner of the globe now.  We’re encroaching on more and more wildlife territory and that’s not just the animals, it’s the flora as well, and I think we have a responsibility to be aware of our natural surroundings.  I think that the environment and the animals should be treated with respect, and we should be learning scientifically about how we’re all going to live together.

julia bradbury planet earth richard hammond

Credit: BBC/Scott Tibbles

What was it that sparked your interest in nature?
I’ve grown up surrounded by nature.  It’s quite well known my dad is a big outdoor fan, and has brought me up to have a great respect for the great outdoors.  I’ve been walking in the great British countryside since I was a toddler, since I was old enough to stand up.  

And as a child growing up I was inspired by none other than the god himself David Attenborough.  I’ve been lucky enough to meet David on several occasions and he’s a fascinating human being.  And I think from being a child that fascination has grown with me into my adult life.

What advice do you have for aspiring journalists who may want to follow in your footsteps?
Work out what it is you want to do in television.  Which are your areas of interest, not necessarily expertise, but interests?  The advice I always give is to watch programs that inspire you, watch the kind of programs that you would like to be involved in and find out who makes those programs and approach those people, and try and explain in clear functional terms why you are impassioned by that program- what it is that ignites the fire in you- and try and sell yourself on that basis.

Go to BBC One to see clips and times for Planet Earth Live here.

Tags:  bbc, gossip, julia bradbury, nature documentaries, nature show, planet earth live, richard hammond, television, tv, tv and interviews

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