Alaska is the last frontier of the continent, with forgotten forests the size of nations, cut through with glaciers, mountains and raging rivers. In July an unparalleled explosion of life transforms the wilderness, creating one of the greatest wildlife events on the planet, and we’re going to be there… live.Steve Backshall
Date: 24.05.2017 Last updated: 24.05.2017 at 17.08
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, today announce Wild Alaska Live, a major three-part live television event for BBC One, produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and co-produced by PBS.
The three part series, to be broadcast live across a week in July 2017 from the makers of 2015's BAFTA award winning Big Blue Live, will broadcast one of the greatest wildlife spectacles from one of the remotest corners of Earth.
Viewers will be taken on a live adventure, as the crew broadcasts from across the vast wildernesses of Alaska, one of the last and best places in the world to see these spectacular animals in all their glory.
Steve Backshall, Matt Baker and Liz Bonnin will be there at the most crucial time of year for Alaskan wildlife; the annual salmon run triggers the start of a remarkable summer feast as black bears, brown bears, Kodiak bears, orca, humpback whales, salmon, beavers, salmon sharks, walrus, wolves and many others gather for a summer feast like no other on the planet.
Steve Backshall says: “Alaska is the last frontier of the continent, with forgotten forests the size of nations, cut through with glaciers, mountains and raging rivers. In July an unparalleled explosion of life transforms the wilderness, creating one of the greatest wildlife events on the planet, and we’re going to be there… live.”
Matt Baker says: “Two years ago we set off for Monterey Bay with a wealth of expertise and the technology to show all of you back home one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth as it happened. Big Blue Live was live family television at its best. Now we're all heading back into the wilds, this time to Alaska with one simple aim - to show you what bears, wolves, whales and many others get up to in one of the most remote parts of the world, while you go about your everyday life in the UK.
"Alaska is, of course, one of those dream places of wonder, from glaciers to rainforests, now we can experience it together as it happens.”
Liz Bonnin says: “Getting the chance to observe the natural behaviours of brown bears and wolves in one of the last remaining true wildernesses on earth is going to be a thrilling experience.
"I'll be based at Katmai National Park - pretty much as remote and pristine a place as you can get - exploring the challenges of conserving these precious species and their habitats, telling the stories of individual animals and capturing all the live action as the salmon run plays out. I'm so excited to be part of the adventure, and to bring all of this to our BBC One audience as the week unfolds.”
Charlotte Moore says: “Filming live from Alaska, one of the most remote corners of the planet, this ambitious series will bring audiences as close as possible to the action so they can experience the adrenalin rush of witnessing one of the most spectacular wildlife gatherings in the world.”
Tom McDonald says: “Big Blue Live was a summer smash in 2015 and I'm delighted that the team behind our BAFTA winning series is reuniting for Wild Alaska Live. The series will be the most ambitious live Natural History project we've ever commissioned - broadcasting from one of the last truly wild places on earth for what promises to be an unforgettable week of animal encounters.”
Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive says: "Wild Alaska Live is the blueprint for the incredible family trip you’ve always wanted to take. The beauty of America’s most remote state is awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping; it’s the true meaning of wilderness. Nature lovers, adventurers and families alike can follow the action live on TV, online and on their mobile devices throughout the week, to catch every exceptional moment. This immersive event is not to be missed.”
Wild Alaska Live will be a thrilling celebration of one of the biggest conservation success stories on the planet. Almost all of America’s brown bears are in Alaska, there are more wolves in here than almost anywhere else in the world and the orca population is booming. Every animal we encounter is part of this inspirational story.
Matt Baker will be presenting live from the world’s largest temperate rainforest, the stunning Tongass National Forest where black bears and bald eagles await the end point of the epic salmon migration.
Liz will be living in one of the remotest areas of Alaskan wilderness, Katmai National Park, amongst some of the largest brown bears in the world. She’ll also be on the trail of the ultimate symbol of wilderness, the iconic wolf.
Each show will see Steve Backshall undertake a daring live expedition to a new remote location. He’ll attempt a helicopter landing on a moving glacier and an abseil right underneath the ice, to where this whole natural event started, before heading off-shore to seek out the biggest predators of them all - orcas and humpback whales.
This spectacular natural event will be taking place non-stop throughout the week, and viewers will be able to follow all the action online, between the shows. We will expanding our digital content across BBC Earth and BBC One’s social media, as well as bespoke Wild Alaska Live Facebook and Twitter pages with presenters’ news, photos, clips and updates as soon as it happens. Follow all the action using the hashtag #AlaskaLive
Presented by film-maker and zoologist Lucy Cooke and wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson, Wild UK will echo the excitement, ambition and scale of Wild Alaska Live. If you know where to look, Britain is wilder than you think.
These five captivating daytime programmes will tell the extraordinary stories of British wildlife that can be seen this summer in the UK, as well as offering exclusive behind the scenes activity from the main event in Alaska.
Wild Alaska Live, a 3x60’, is made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit with PBS, distributed by BBC Worldwide, will be series produced by Adam White and executive produced by Roger Webb for BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit. It has been co-commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, Craig Hunter, BBC Commissioning Editor, and Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. It will transmit on BBC One later this summer.