The One Show: Tom Hanks praises Springwatch
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Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham, Iolo Williams and Megan McCubbin have been keeping animal-lovers updated on BBC Two in the latest series of Springwatch. Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press, Chris and Michaela opened up on the unpredictability of nature and how that can impact the show.
Michaela began: “I can think of three very different things that have happened to the programme.
“The first one was a technical issue and our generator went and the backup generator went during the live programme.
“The funniest thing was that Chris and I didn’t realise so we carried on presenting but the viewers at home were getting a dark screen.
“We were wondering why the cameramen were putting the cameras down but obviously when you are presenting you aren’t going to go, ‘Has something happened?’ in case it hasn’t and then you would look really silly.”
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“Eventually someone told us we were off air and luckily we always do backup links and I think that was the only time we have ever had to use a backup link and then it came back to us quite quickly,” she continued.
“The second one was the weather. We had the most unbelievable floods where the rivers burst their banks and everything got flooded.
“It was so close to going in the OB truck and that would have been hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage.”
Michaela admitted she was both surprised and relieved by how many birds survived the flood.
“Fortunately, it didn’t get in but there was no way we could do the programme as normal because there were just floods everywhere, half the nests were flooded out, but it was incredible how many of the birds survived and how few actually got damaged from those floods,” she explained.
“We had to do a very different programme when we managed to get back on air.
“And then the third was Chris throwing up just before a show and he couldn’t go on air because he was chucking up in a sink from food poisoning!”
The Springwatch presented revealed she was pleasantly surprised by the number of times things haven’t gone to plan.
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“It’s a live show, of course, things go wrong, but I am actually amazed how few times things have gone dramatically wrong in the 12 or 13 years that I have been doing it,” Michaela added.
Chris explained the importance of research when trying to maximise the animal footage.
The naturalist said: “Well, the animals never behave how we ideally would like them to I don’t think.
“But we research things inside out and we have to be really cautious in the way that we interact with those animals and the team that we have got has got years of experience and expertise to put into play, so we maximise our chances of seeing the animals.”
“There have been a handful of occasions where we have had severe technical issues which have taken us off air: storms, we had a problem with the generator on one occasion, but they have been very isolated.
“There is always self-generated pressure in the team to make sure those technical hiccups don’t occur.
“We have been delving into new technology, for the first time in Winterwatch we were fully hydrogen dependent when it came to broadcasting.
“We are very conscious of our carbon footprint, and we have been doing everything we can to reduce our waste and consumption. So, the only by-product of broadcasting the programme was the bottles of water we had on-site.”
Springwatch continues on BBC Two on Thursday at 8pm.
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