The BBC has announced that Sir David Attenborough is to present Blue Planet II, the new seven part landmark from the NHU, which will go out later this year on BBC One.

Blue Planet was first broadcast in 2001. The sequel has been filming for the past four years off every continent and in every ocean. New filming technologies, including UHD tow cams that allow predatory fish and dolphins to be filmed front-on; UHD suction cams which enable the viewer to travel on the back of large creatures such as whale sharks and orcas; and a UHD probe camera that immerses the viewer into the world of miniature marine life.

New landscapes seen in the series include methane volcanoes which erupt in the Gulf of Mexico; and the ‘boiling sea’ phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean. Two manned submersibles will also explore the Antarctic deep at 1000m for the first time. Creatures include hairy-chested Hoff crabs; snub fin dolphins that spit water through the air; and a tool-using tusk fish, have been filmed for the first time. Extraordinary behaviour has been captured too such as sophisticated hunting between a coral grouper and a reef octopus; giant trevally that catch flying birds in mid-air; and a dive with a sperm whale mother and calf, as she heads deep into the abyss to hunt.

James Honeyborne, Executive Producer, says: “The oceans are the most exciting place to be right now, because new scientific discoveries have given us a new perspective of life beneath the waves. Blue Planet II is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary new behaviours and remarkable new creatures. Showing a contemporary portrait of marine life, it will provide a timely reminder that this is a critical moment for the health of the world’s oceans.”

Made by the Natural History Unit, Blue Planet II is co-produced with BBC America, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University. It is Executive Produced by James Honeyborne and Series Produced by Mark Brownlow, and was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of TV Content and iPlayer and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual.

Jon Creamer

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