David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities

It is alleged one can have too much even of a good thing, but this oft-repeated assertion has no basis in science fact, plus it neglects to factor in the presence of Sir David Attenborough.

Already this year we’ve had Galapagos for Sky, Africa for the BBC and now, about to begin on Eden, we shall be served with David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities. He’ll be doing house-house calls next. If only!

David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities

Series producer Stephen Dunleavy interviews Sir David about what they hope to achieve.

Stephen Dunleavy
“We have been working on David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities for the past six months and this is very different to your normal series. You’re not out in a vast wilderness; it’s very much more intimate. You’re more generally behind the scenes of museums, but how would you describe the series to this audience?”

Sir David Attenborough
“Well, it puts an extra dimension onto animals. We’ve been making natural history programmes, you and I, and others, for a long time but we’ve always dealt with the animals as they are and sometimes as they might become, but we’ve never thought about them with their history and their particular relationship with human beings – the superstitions we had about them.

This is an extra dimension to animals which I think is particularly fascinating. It has certainly fascinated me ever since I was a kid, ever since I picked up a reproduction of a 17th Century natural history book and saw these fantastic animals, monsters, dragons and mermaids, all of which people thought actually existed and some of which have a really good basis for making them think that. This extra dimension to animals sets you thinking about them as to why they are the way they are, which is something which I don’t think we have done on television before.”

source: Eden

David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities begins on the Eden channel at 8pm on 29th January.

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Jonathan Meades Returns

Jonathan Meades The Joy of Essex

Jonathan Meades is unleashed on the county of Essex. Contrary to its caricature as a bling-filled land of breast-enhanced footballer’s wives and self-made millionaires, Meades argues that this is a county that defies definition – at once the home of picturesque villages, pre-war modernism and 19th-century social experiments.

Shaped by its closeness to London, Meades points out that this is where 19th-century do-gooders attempted to reform London’s outcasts with manual labour and fresh air, from brewing magnate Frederick Charrington’s Temperance Colony on Osea Island to the Christian socialist programmes run by Salvation Army founder William Booth.

Meades also discovers a land which abounds in all strains of architecture, from the modernist village created by paternalistic shoe giant Thomas Bata to Oliver Hill’s masterplan to re-imagine Frinton-on-Sea and the bizarre but prescient work of Arthur Mackmurdo, whose exceptionally odd buildings were conceived in the full blown language of the 1930s some fifty years earlier.

In a visually impressive and typically idiosyncratic programme, Meades provides a historical and architectural tour of a county that typically challenges everything you thought you knew and offers so much you didn’t.

Jonathan Meades: The Joy of Essex
BBC Four Tuesday 29 Jan 2013 21:00
BBC Four Wed 30 Jan 2013 03:00

source: BBC

Good interview with Jonathan Meades for The Quietus.