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Live 'n' Deadly at Margam Park

Rachael Garside Rachael Garside | 09:20 UK time, Monday, 3 October 2011

It's not every day you see a reticulated python, a tarantula, an eagle owl and a harris hawk on a visit to Margam Park near Port Talbot, but then it's not every day that the Live 'n' Deadly show rolls into town.

There was plenty to see and do from zorbing in plastic bubbles on the lake to pond dipping and all kinds of wildlife to see.

Kids 'zorbing' on the lake at Margam Park.

Kids 'zorbing' on the lake at Margam Park.

Yesterday, in the searing heat under a cloudless sky, thousands of over-excited children and their parents gathered to see the star of the show, Steve Backshall and the team, display their passion for wildlife.

If you're not an avid viewer of the CBBC channel then all this may be a mystery to you, but the Live 'n' Deadly and Deadly 60 programmes have become a phenomenon for the under 12's, and all due to the boundless enthusiasm of their presenter, wildlife expert Steve Backshall.

Steve Backshall with a reticulated python around his neck.

Steve Backshall with a reticulated python around his neck.

He was greeted on stage in the live show like a rock star, children screaming and cheering as the road show tours the country, making its one stop in Wales at Margam Park.

The show began with a stark warning about not keeping any wild animals as pets before a parade of creatures were brought out on stage by Steve and introduced to the audience.

We saw an eagle owl, a poisonous centipede, two harris hawks, an eagle, alligator snapping turtle (with the strongest bite of any creature on the planet), and an impressive reticulated python, which lost no time in winding itself around the presenter's arm. Never mind the animals, the crowd went wild!

Steve with a beautiful eagle owl.

Steve with a beautiful eagle owl on his arm.

According to the activity packs we collected to take home, the purpose of the event was to inspire children to get outside and closer to wildlife.

It's a noble cause in an age of computer games and social networking and what a brilliant way to go about it.

My boys loved it and judging from the response of the crowd, they weren't alone.

At the end of the live show, Steve asked if anyone had any questions but before he took them, he told us the answers to the questions he gets asked the most.

His favourite animal is a wolf, favourite place is the Himalayas, then he covered a whole host of subjects from endangered species to 'what's the rarest animal in the world' (answer - George a tortoise on the Galapagos Islands who is literally the last of his kind) and how many suckers does an octopus have? (answer - no two are the same so it varies).

The only down side to the event was the sheer number of people attending - you had to queue for everything, apart from the main show which was ticketed so there were quite a few tired and overheated children around.

But it didn't spoil the day. We made our way home having caught the sun and the wildlife bug and as the TV programme says 'be wild and stay deadly'....

If you went to the road show then I'd love to hear what you enjoyed about the big day - please leave your comments below.


  • Comment number 1.

    A fabulous day! I took my 2 year old son along and we had a great time although he was a little too interested in jumping into the lake to go zorbing for my liking ;)

    I thought Steve and the team were excellent and couldn't believe how he managed to talk to the crowd and keep his hands away from that fast moving, poisonous centipede on the log he was holding?

    Blistering heat and plenty of queues to get into the wildlife tents but enough room to breath outside and the slightly older kids around the park seemed enthralled to be there.

    Funnily enough, I got home, put the telly on and there was Steve Backshall doing what he does best - paddling a canoe whilst being chased by a dangerous hippo!

    My son hasn't stopped talking about the owl and snake he saw which is great for a dad, keen on wildlife :)


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