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A new shape for Autumnwatch - watch the whole of autumn with us

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Tim Scoones Tim Scoones | 16:21 UK time, Monday, 21 September 2009

Autumnwatch returns for an eight-week celebration of UK wildlife, live and interactive from across the country, in a new format now spanning the entire season. The thinking behind the new shape for the series is that it will now allow us, and you, to witness and share even more of the glories of autumn.

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Taster for the new-look series

Instead of the eight one-hour shows being packed into just two weeks (and in the last three years we've frankly always struggled to find the right two weeks in such a long, rich and varied season), there'll be one show every Friday night over eight weeks.

From the very beginnings of autumn in early October to the onset of winter in late November, we'll be covering more of the beauty, the drama and the spectacle of this protracted and unpredictable season than ever before. So join Chris, Kate, Simon, Martin and Gordon as they reveal what's happening at this crucial time of year for our wild creatures. And of course, discover more about what you might do to enjoy - and help - wildlife where you live.

And yes, although now weekly, the Autumnwatch shows will still be as live - and interactive - as ever. Your comments at the end of Springwatch made it very obvious you wanted it this way.

The live TV shows will be transmitting weekly every Friday night at 9pm and then repeated on Saturday afternoons for families (something we're delighted to be offering this year, having listened to your comments). We also have a new, improved and extended Autumnwatch Unsprung show at 10-10.30pm, straight after the main show.

Every Friday, Autumnwatch aims to set you up for your own wildlife weekend, by showcasing the very best of the wildlife action happening around you and suggesting how best to enjoy this glorious season yourself. The BBC Weather Centre will join us live every Friday night to provide a weekly, tailor-made wildlife-watching forecast.

As different aspects of autumn spectacle, drama and beauty come to a peak, our presenter team will travel to new wildlife hotspots each week, to be at the right place at the right time to see autumn at its best. Every Friday, Chris, Kate and Martin will return to Autumnwatch's true base - the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol - to report live on the best of their week of field adventures and catch up on the latest news from our ongoing conversation with you the viewers.


The presenter team are back and this time they're watching the whole of autumn

Now spanning the whole season, the potential for exciting stories - and opportunities for you to join in - is enormous, as each show seeks out the heart of the autumn wildlife action from that particular week.

As ever, we'll be keeping everyone informed and up to date on UK wildlife news and issues, and hear from you about what you feel passionately about. We're hoping that the audience-led surveys, debates and messageboard discussions will be even more active and revelatory than in Springwatch 2009.

(Remember our Have you heard a cuckoo? viewer survey? We received over 13,000 responses in the end!)

We'll be getting you to help us follow the great changes and movements in our wildlife that so define the autumn, allowing us to get a better picture of what's going on nationwide and helping our scientists and conservation organisations better understand how it all works.

There's so much going on in the autumn, especially now we have a full eight weeks for us - and you - to get out there and soak it all up. Get involved yourself, with the wildlife near you and also with the active and growing community of wildlife people on our website.

Then join the presenter team every Friday night to discover what they've been up to, what you've been up to, and how to get set up for your own weekend of autumn delights. From the last breaths of summer in early October to the first true snaps of winter in late November, Autumnwatch can now, quite literally watch the entire season.

Lets get going! Autumnwatch 2009 starts here .....

Tim Scoones is the Executive Producer of Autumnwatchem>

Autumnwatch 2009
Fri 2nd October - Fri 20th November
9-10pm every Friday night on BBC TWO
(followed by Autumnwatch Unsprung 10-10.30pm on BBC TWO, plus
a repeat of the main show for family viewing on Saturday afternoons on BBC TWO)... and across the BBC on regional TV, local radio, on the web... and where you live


  • 1. At 10:17pm on 03 Oct 2009, Duffnut wrote:

    I think it is a real shame Autumnwatch is now just once a week. The 'watches' used to be a Event. 2 weeks of essential viewing. Now it is just another wildlife program. The cozy relaxed feel is not the same, the thought that what you were watching was what happened earlier that day gave a great feel of now and not a week ago.

    I understand the idea behind seeing all of Autumn but I think this format will kill what was once a great watch. Events is what TV is always looking for and spring / Autumnwatch were Events.

    I'll stick with the rest of the series but it won't be as enjoyable any more... Really sad. My ideal situation would be Spring and Autumn as they were and this format every week of the year ( Stuff happens all year round ) oh and at an earlier time than 9pm.

    I hope to be proved wrong and I'll be back on here to say so, but not looking good so far. :-(

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  • 2. At 4:48pm on 04 Oct 2009, snaphappy wrote:

    My elderly parent is in bed by 9pm, and we are cooking the evening
    meal at the time of the Saturday repeat!

    We are very disappointed that we are now unable to enjoy this wonderful programme together.


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  • 3. At 09:52am on 07 Oct 2009, Father Goose wrote:

    To play 'Devil's anorak' here, I have to say that I'm loving the fact that the weekly episodes mean that I don't have the problems that have been a feature of previous Spring and Autumnwatch weeks.

    To illustrate my point, I normally come home and go out with the dog for an hour or so, return more than halfway through the programme having to have dinner and attend to all the other normal household duties as well as sharing the television with a wonderful woman who has her own viewing agenda to slot in. Typically this means that I end up with hours of catching up, exacerbated by the fact that watching the episodes out of sequence doesn't always work (with the old 'watch them grow' and cliffhanger aspects) so by the third program I'm generally unable to view the live shows anyway.

    As Mr Scoones himself says, the timing of the shows has always meant that it's never quite spring or the seasonal spectacles are slightly out of synch with what's outside right now.

    As a keen naturalist I would echo some of the sentiments above and urge the Controller to divert some of the licence fee away from the constant output of sport that clogs the schedule and funnel it towards the BBC NHU. A world without darts and snooker ousting wildlife programming would be heaven!

    Just give us more natural history programming, live, blue-chip or merely Sir David delivering anecdotes in his trademark blue shirt. I'll watch them all...

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  • 4. At 3:16pm on 07 Oct 2009, Rob Ward wrote:

    Autumn/Springwatch in its old format didn't come over very professionally at times. This was probably down to it being a live show and as it was aired every night, the presenters probably found it hard to talk about the same stuff day in day out if nothing special or different happened. Also the producers wouldn’t have had much time to make important decisions, like the dipper! Remember?
    There has been a comment on the message boards saying that it is now, just another wildlife programme? To me it is a wildlife programme, but one that gives the viewers the chance to interact and have their say recognised and even mentioned on live TV!
    Autumn/Springwatch is unique and I can see how changing the format could upset some, but we live in an age where we CAN work around things.
    I have two daughters who are both in bed at 21:00hrs on week nights, they are 11 and 14, but I let them stay up on a Friday as there is no school on Saturday!
    If the show aired on a Thursday, I would either record it for them or they could watch the repeat on Saturday.
    There will always be the ones, which can not adapt to change, I am just glad they are not working for me!

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  • 5. At 11:11am on 08 Oct 2009, funmum wrote:

    I am very disappointed at the changes.We used to watch as a family every night too and really enjoyed Bill Oddie and co.It's a real shame.

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  • 6. At 02:20am on 30 Oct 2009, bravePixie1 wrote:

    I think the new format of Autumn Watch is just terrible!
    No offence but who would stay in on a Friday night to watch it?
    When it was on nightly I had the opportunity to get to know the animals and follow their progress in the little bird boxes etc.

    All that is now lost! Such a shame!!!!

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