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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC One explores African continent in major new commission for Bristol's Natural History Unit

Africa on BBC One

Africa, a major new series for BBC One which celebrates the wildlife and landscapes of the great continent, has been commissioned.

Scheduled for 2012, the six-part series will use the latest in filming technology to explore previously unseen landscapes – from Angola to Mozambique and Libya to Sudan.

Africa's wilderness is facing massive and irrevocable change and, for many places, the series could be the last chance to experience the planet's greatest animals within their natural habitats.

From the Atlas Mountains in the north, to the Cape of Good Hope in the south, from the roof of Ethiopia in the east, to where the forest meets the sea in the west, the series aims to encompass the wildest places left on Earth.

BBC executive producer Mike Gunton says: "The series combines the epic power of Africa's landscapes with intimate and dramatic moments in the lives of individual creatures that struggle to survive there. Each episode focuses on a different region, unearthing the elements that have given each place its own unique character.

"With this series we have the chance to bring about a step-change in the way we use new photographic technology to enhance the intensity of the audience's experience and offer new perspectives on this amazing continent.

"That means there's everything from previously unseen landscapes filmed from the air; 700 day time-lapses; joining vultures as they soar over equatorial glaciers; following camels to an oasis hidden inside an extinct volcano; or capturing the microscopic detail of the strange behaviour of sand grains."

Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History, who will oversee the series, says: "Africa is going to look different and is going to be special. The BBC's Natural History Unit is thriving by innovating, creating the very best wildlife filming which viewers love and remember for years to come.

"Other treats in store from this world-class unit include Human Planet and Frozen Planet, for BBC One, and, starting soon on BBC Two, the ever popular Springwatch, followed by Wild Night In – a fundraising extravaganza with the same presenting team."

Africa was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC One. The executive producer is Mike Gunton and the series producer is James Honeyborne.

Notes to Editors

The award-winning BBC Natural History Unit is the world's largest in-house production team for wildlife programmes, producing a diverse output for TV, radio, online and for the cinema. It has created a world-class reputation for ambitious and ground-breaking factual programmes.

Recent TV series made by the Bristol-based Unit include Life; Nature's Great Events; Lost Land Of The Volcano; David Attenborough's Life In Cold Blood; Wild China; and Galapagos; live presenter-lead series, such as Springwatch and Autumnwatch; and multi-platform content, such as the hugely popular Wildlife Finder and Big Cat Diary.

On radio, recent series include Nature, Living World, Soundscapes and a major live event, World On The Move.

BR/LS2

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