We are delighted to say that over five million viewers tuned in to watch the wildlife action on Planet Earth Live on Sunday and we are hoping they will join us for tonight's updates with Richard Hammond in Kenya and Julia Bradbury in Minnesota. While millions tuned in, thousands are following the regular updates from the field on Twitter and on the website bbc.co.uk/planetearthlive following @bbcplanetearth.

Our guys are filming 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that we can bring audiences all the action and the news highlights in our three times weekly programmes. We have five separate outside broadcasts transmitting from often quite inhospitable locations, so there is a bit of a large margin for error in this hugely ambitious project. As the action develops in the field, Richard and Julia are on hand to present the latest news and analysis of these real life events going on around the world.

Wildlife filming is a long, drawn out and arduous process. Programmes like Frozen Planet are years in the making but we are doing this in a matter of weeks. Animals don't act on cue and rarely behave as we would like them to, which is why we present the action as pre-edited news packages. The camera guys put in the groundwork so that we can bring our discerning natural history audiences the most fantastic and up to date stories - real-stories of real action and not endless footage of a location where there's a risk that nothing happens.

Ten years of experience on series like Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Big Cat Live have taught us that sharing the thought that animal stories are playing out and we don't know what is going to happen next makes for compelling viewing and a wonderfully real and connected experience. We have also learned that simply delivering pure, raw, live images only does not deliver enough of the much more exciting and informative drama that our audiences expect and deserve.

Julia Bradbury co-hosts Planet Earth Live on BBC One.

It is worth noting that reality shows and news programmes have reached the same conclusion - it's the content and the ongoing story that matters, not the method of how we then package and present it to our audience. Richard and Julia present live in the field so that we can deliver up to date reports of real, ongoing events. Planet Earth Live is doing just this, and on a scale that we have never dreamed of before. We have camera teams and experts working around the clock, around the globe, capturing the action as it happens and filing reports to send back to base. The shows are then transmitted from Kenya and the USA and from our control hub at BBC Bristol onto BBC ONE and simulcast or as-live transmitted to 140 countries worldwide. Its quite a technical feat, and is the most ambitious wildlife broadcast event of its kind ever undertaken.

The stars of the show include lions, elephants, black bears, grey whales, giant river otters, toque macaques, meerkats and polar bears filmed in various locations in Africa, America, Asia, South America and the Arctic. Already they are developing their own following thanks to the real-time twitter updates from the teams in the field and their appearances on the BBC Planet Earth Live website. Gavin Thurston's little macaque Gremlin is causing a stir while Moja, the solo bear cub, is fighting for survival with his brave mum has us all rooting for him.

Our presenters are live in every show, discussing the latest action and news with our expert cameramen in the field. The reason we chose Richard and Julia is that they are consummate professionals well used to working with this live action environment. They are surrounded by experts - who we carefully chose for their experience in the field and with that particular species. And so, as Richard so succinctly put it in an interview with the Daily Mirror - when people ask why the bloke from Top Gear is doing a programme on nature "I can address that head on . I'm there to ask the questions and be amazed. Julia and I are not going to be afraid to ask those questions that perhaps some experts wouldn't because they assume greater knowledge."

In terms of the live nature of the series, we are reporting as a news programme would on recent events. We have never promised live footage of animals. The audience is sharing the action with the presenters and filmmakers with nature writing the script and our teams presenting the most interesting and informative parts of the animals' stories. The presenters are indeed hosting the show live and our web site is receiving updates from all over the world. If any animals are spotted during these live presenter moments and are relevant and interesting we will show them but this has never been our core purpose.

I hope you enjoy watching the series and follow us on the web. We are certainly having the time of our lives making it and we are grateful to Mother Nature for already writing us some amazing scripts.

Tim Scoones is Executive Producer, Planet Earth Live


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  • Comment number 85. Posted by Ian Hale

    on 21 May 2012 18:21

    I have to say I am disappointed with the series so far, don't get me wrong I am beginning to enjoy it more as it gets going it but I agree with the many the presenter choice is very questionable. I was seriously looking forward to it as I was lucky enough to see Caught on Safari Live with Michaela Strachan and John Varty (to name two). Michelas passion for wildlife and energy is always evident and I think she would have also made a great presenter for the African anchor. That series was truly live. I was well and truly hooked, brilliant totally live experience. I realise this is several places in the world but has too much of a pre-recorded feel. (Kinda waiting for a Lion to jump on Hammond to give it a live feel lol) No seriously lovely concept but I feel it could have been done so much better.

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  • Comment number 84. Posted by Jamesash

    on 21 May 2012 14:50

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 83. Posted by Essential Rabbit

    on 21 May 2012 09:51

    Mr. Scoones should admit that the experiment was a dismal failure, and offer Charlotte Uhlenbroek some of the huge amount of money the BBC wastes on "the talent", to entice her back to the fold, and make some professional wildlife documentaries

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  • Comment number 82. Posted by Newfielad20

    on 20 May 2012 21:49

    It is Sunday evening and I thought that I would give Planet Earth Live !!!! one more try. Like many commentators after the Hype about the programme I was sorely let down by the choice of presenters and the cheek to call it live. Having said that I enjoyed the brief shots of the Polar bears with Gordan Buchanan which has followed on from seeing him on Eden last night with the black bears.

    I cannot understand why the BBC has let themselves down with this programme by using presenters who are not normally associated with this type of programme. I would loved to have seen presenters of the calibre of Saba Douglas hamilton or Charlotte Uhlenbroek and others they know what they are talking about and put it over in a professional manner.

    I feel I would rather see recorded NH programmes as they are well put together I shall be looking out for Gordon's new programme later in the year.

    I would love to know just how much this has cost us

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  • Comment number 81. Posted by oddjob-ding

    on 20 May 2012 20:16

    What has happened with natural history film making? It just seems to get worse and worse as the years go by. This being one of the worst NH programmes I have seen so far.

    Without repeating the same old complaint's about lack of live footage and choice of celebrities (presenters). Maybe it should have been called Why! Why Richard and Julia ? Why live? Could the original title infringe trading standards, maybe it should be reported to watchdog!

    I remember a time when natural history covered almost any species you care to think of. I have never been a huge fan of Attenbourgh's programs simply because it had him standing in front of a camera far to often! But now it seems natural history programs are mostly about the celebrity presenters!

    The BBC have even begun showing pseudo NH programs with 55 minutes of a Well known Scottish grey haired camera man in front of the camera and the last 5 minutes of the actual animal the program is about (if you are lucky)

    When I was growing up I remember seeing programs about coral reef's, Ground Hornbill's, Massive flocks of Quelea, and so on. Now its always the same old things Big Cat's, Crocdiles, Bears, Elephants. I love those things but there are over one and a half million species in the world can't we (the tax payers) see programs about something else just for a change.

    Without some celebrity presenter taking up all the limelight, spring watch is very enjoyable but can we have NH programs that just star the animal! There is enough dull reality drivel on the TV can we escape it just for an hour now and again and get away from property and antique programs Please please please repeat the old BBC NH programs that used to be about wildlife not the person in front of or behind the camera.

    It wouldn't even cost anything, but please don't do what ITV have recently done and re-edit it with exciting drum rolls and younger narrators just to make it "modern & sexier" for younger audiences.

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  • Comment number 80. Posted by Harry Stottle

    on 20 May 2012 11:25

    I commented last week about this programme and have returned to see whether my earlier observations are shared by others. Reading through the posts it seems there are very few that support the vision Mr Scoones portays in his opening comments.
    I am surprised he hasn't returned to his own blog to answer his customers concerns that this "LIVE" series has not met with his expectations. Perhaps his absence speaks volumes.

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  • Comment number 79. Posted by gerry34

    on 20 May 2012 10:28

    BCD was so enthralling that it lured us to KENYA .After 9 visits,most included trips to the MARA,we regret not a minute.If,however,we had only seen this latest shambles we would never have contemplated going to KENYA.The production team must think its viewers are idiots.Who chose the presenters? Whats wrong with using SIMON,JONATHAN,SABA or KATE.The BBC have dumbed down its previous high standard.A lot of the KENYA film has been shown before.Why hasn't Jackson been used more?This latest programme is rubish.

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  • Comment number 78. Posted by sara-a

    on 20 May 2012 07:21

    To add, the baby elephant crying out as the group walked away was absolutely heart-rending, all RH could say at the end of the film was to tell us to remember that it was happening 'right-now'. I do hope this experiment in un-qualified presentation will be the last.

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  • Comment number 77. Posted by sara-a

    on 20 May 2012 05:57

    I have read elsewhere that Julia Bradbury would like to do more wildlife programmes. I sincerely hope that this does not happen. Viewers do not need a non-expert asking an expect questions, all we need is the expert in front of the camera or as voice-over. Julia seems to forget sometimes that it is the wildlife that needs to be centre stage, it is the wildlife viewers are tuning in to see. Julia may be good in the walking series and with interviews on countryfile but wildlife needs a presenter qualified in the field and happy with a place in the background. We also do not need expert filming to be broken up with a return to the 'studio' for a non-expert to tell us what we have just witnessed. Please show some respect for the wildlife by showing captured incidents in full.

    I'm not sure whether the species covered by this series are suitable for 'soundbite' television anyway, all of the species shown have been covered by more worthy and detailed programmes which are ultimately more interesting as the subjects can be shown in more depth. I would like to see a full programme on the elephants in particular (with wildlife experts), those poor young mother elephants crying out, for their babies, for their own mothers, for their situation, following the river incident is something that stays with you and cannot be forgotten.

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  • Comment number 76. Posted by jccurd

    on 19 May 2012 16:47

    My first problem is that given that most of the programme's actual animal action content is necessarily recorded, I fail to see what value a live presenter in a dark Masai Mara encampment is supposed to add.

    My second problem is that, even as a supporter of Julia Bradbury and as professional as they both may be, she and Richard Hammond are hopelessly miscast here. I don't believe that you can make serious wildlife documentaries without using presenters with serious wildlife gravitas. You've got the best in the world available to you, for Heaven's sake.

    I'm a long-standing fan of the normally excellent BBC wildlife documentaries and view them with great respect but this is the first such programme that I now actually avoid. I agree that you're damaging the fine reputation so professionally created.

    I'll try desperately to forget the sight of Julia Bradbury crawling on her hands and knees padding out expensive air time pretending to be a bear. Strewth!

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