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Presenters Meeting: Things are hotting up...

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The Mole | 14:59 UK time, Monday, 1 June 2009

Everyone is gathered in the glamorous Portacabin to discuss this evening's programme. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that lots of the chicks have been fledging over the weekend which means that there is plenty of material for tonight's episode. The bad news is that lots of the chicks birds have been fledging over the weekend... and there are still two weeks' worth of Springwatch to fill. Yikes!

It's a tricky situation. The animals are the stars but the stars are walking off the set. What was it? Did they not get the 'riders' they wanted? Were the worms too long? Were their nests not painted the particular shade of apricot that their agents had demanded? Did somebody look them directly in the eyes? Was their air-conditioning not working?

Actually, air-conditioning is pretty much the answer. The weekend was so hot, and the nests were getting so stuffy, that the birds - unable to sweat, as Martin points out - were doing an awful lot of panting. It is therefore decided to make a 'pants' video for the show. But with what music?

Hannah, the assistant producer, gives us a rendition of Hot In Herre by the hip-hop artist Nelly. "It's getting hot in here," Hannah sings. "So take off all your clothes..."

She's right - it does seem to be getting hot in here...

Further bad news comes half-way through the meeting when Nigel the birdman gets a call to say that the whitethroats have now fledged as well. Or as Jo, the remote cameras chap, says when he pokes his head in the door: "They've all f&@%ed off!"

Luckily, the producer says, Springwatch has kept some 'superstars' in reserve and one bird that keeps making an appearance is the cuckoo. Since Martin Hughes-Games appealed for people to report their cuckoo sightings and 'hearings', over ten thousand people have done exactly that. This is not just good news for us but also for Kate's neighbour's child who is worried that "the cuckoo clock is in danger of becoming a myth'. So that's where all our cuckoo's have been going - it's the dastardly Swiss cuckoo clock makers!

Chris says he has some great news on woodlarks which prompts Kate to try remember the bird's scientific name. "It's something onomatopoeic," she says, beginning to ululate like a singer at an Egyptian wedding. "Lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu...."

She is right. The scientific name for the woodlark, as it turns out, is indeed Lullula arborea. But no one can remember it at the time. We are all hoping that Kate will go on to give us a belly dance...

The meeting finishes with Chris talking about his plans for a feature on nettles, "the unsung hero of the countryside". I mention a pub I once visited in Dorset where a contest is held annually to see who can eat the most raw nettles. Chris, it turns out, has entered the contest in the past and plans to eat some more nettles live on the show.

Some people will do anything to get those 'bee-sting lips'...


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