Wednesday, 9 July 2014

End of an era as BBC plan to dumb down wildlife documentaries

For the last 30 years or so nature lovers across the world have been spoiled by the BBC and its high quality nature programming. All that is now to change as the BBC gets set to ‘dumb down’ its nature programming moving away from science and facts towards populist hyperbole and emotional anthropomorphism.

In a piece in todays Daily Telegraph the BBC has confirmed that the scientific and factual approach of wildlife programming that led to the BBC dominating nature documentary production with global admiration is to come to an end.

The head of the corporation’s Natural History unit, Wendy Darke, said in the piece that the BBC will not be seeking to replace Sir David Attenborough but will aim to present populist programmes with a range of presenters.

Ms Darke has said she is developing a range of presenters to work on BBC wildlife programmes, stressing the “need to continue to innovate and diversify”. She added: “That includes offering a more diverse range of presenters and programme styles and formats that have relevance to people’s lives.

“Often people who don’t come from a biological degree background ask questions that the audience would ask. I’m a real believer in having a mixture of ‘ologies’ in terms of expertise.” She added: “Raw passion is important, as is an ability to talk knowledgeably about the subject. For me, it’s almost about looking into somebody’s eyes and asking, ‘Am I engaged by what you’re telling me?’ ”

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