Surprises, excitement and emotion await as Big Cat Live comes to BBC One, CBeebies, and bbc.co.uk
One of the BBC Natural History Unit's most ambitious live projects is coming to BBC One, bbc.co.uk and CBeebies this autumn.
Big Cat Live will be a one-week live TV event but the whole production will span three weeks on bbc.co.uk.
The series is set to explore the hidden side of Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve – its wildlife, its secrets and the perils of the dark.
With cutting-edge filming techniques and live communications, Big Cat Live will bring all the danger and exhilaration of being out on the African plains 24/7.
Kate Silverton and local Masai guide Jackson Looseyia join Simon King and Jonathan Scott at their camp, in the heart of Africa's most famous reserve.
Camping next to the Mara River, in the middle of lion territory, the team will be surrounded by African wildlife including elephants, buffalos, crocodiles, zebras and over one million migrating wildebeest in a landscape where anything can happen – day or night.
By day, the team will follow the life-and-death fortunes of the lion, cheetah and leopard families.
Then, nightly transmissions bring the latest news from the previous 24 hours as well as live images of the nocturnal life in the reserve, using specially designed remote cameras capable of broadcasting live action as it happens in the dark.
The team will also reveal the bigger story of the Masai Mara neighbourhood – uncovering the day-to-day activities of a whole range of animals, from hyenas to baboons and elephants to aardvarks.
bbc.co.uk will begin the Big Cat Live experience with the launch of a fully interactive website two weeks before the series goes on air.
From the heart of Africa to the desktop, the site will enable Big Cat fans to monitor live activity as it happens on the reserve.
Through the multiple live streaming webcams set up around the Mara reserve this unprecedented three-week long event will feature both updates on the lives of the cat stars and the thrum of African wildlife at night.
CBeebies joins the Big Cat Live event with an exciting new series, Little Big Cat, which will follow a lion, leopard or cheetah cub as the star of each show.
As well as giving a charming insight into the lives of cats, the programme is going to offer children a chance to encounter the many other animals that live on the Mara, including elephants, giraffes, zebras and crocodiles.
The programme will introduce young viewers to Swahili and CBeebies presenter Sid will be on location filming his very own journey on safari for CBeebies Presentation.
The CBeebies website is set to feature some of the action and adventures of the little cats.
Neil Nightingale, Head of the BBC Natural History Unit, says: "Big Cat Live is the BBC's most ambitious ever live international wildlife event.
"Audiences will be transported into the heart of wild Africa to experience the action in one the world's most dramatic wildlife location, as it happens."
Sara Ford, Executive Producer, adds: "To bring the show live to BBC One we are aiming for nothing less than 24-hour surveillance throughout the Masai Mara on a number of different platforms.
"For the first time we invite the audience to feel part of the Big Cat operation as we share with them the logistics and fieldcraft required to launch such a bold live project."
Big Cat Live is being made by BBC Vision Productions and was commissioned by Emma Swain, Head of In-house Commissioning, Knowledge.
The Series Producer is Nigel Pope and the Producer is Colin Jackson.
BBC Multiplatform Comissioner is Lisa Sargood.
Little Big Cat was commissioned by Michael Carrington and the Executive Producer is Wendy Darke.
The series will go out this autumn on BBC One, CBeebies and online.
Notes to Editors
The BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) is the world leader in the production of ambitious landmark natural history series. Some of the projects currently in production include Nature's Great Events, Yellowstone, Life and The Human Planet.
The BBC is also the world leader in live natural history broadcasting and multiplatform events, which currently include Springwatch, Autumnwatch and World On The Move, as well as Big Cat Live.
NHU is a diverse production studio working across multiple platforms within BBC Vision. Besides producing television content for BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four, the NHU also creates content for CBeebies, CBBC, BBC Radio 4, BBC Nations and Regions, BBC News, bbc.co.uk and BBC Films.
The Natural History Unit, together with BBC Learning and in partnership with the wildlife and conservation sector in the UK, leads the BBC Breathing Places campaign to engage audiences in making a difference for UK wildlife.