BBC Studios Natural History Unit is to make a one-off 60-minute special, Planet Earth: A Celebration, to air on BBC One, BBC America and on Tencent in China this summer.

Sir David Attenborough recorded a new narration during lockdown at his home in London for some of the more extraordinary creatures and places captured in Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II.

A new score has been composed by award-winning composers Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and the team at Bleeding Fingers and performed by Brit and Mercury award winner Dave on the piano and the BBC Concert Orchestra on strings. Both the orchestra and Dave were filmed for the programme in the Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios, London within strict social distancing and Covid-19 guidelines.

Hans Zimmer said: Working with David on so many of his magnificent programmes celebrating nature and our planet has been a joy for me. I am constantly inspired by what he is able to capture, and the collection of sequences featured in Planet Earth: A Celebration is truly special. It was an honor to once again work with David, Jacob Shea and the BBC Concert Orchestra to highlight these incredible stories once again.”

Dave said: “I’ve always been a fan of powerful natural history documentaries, This is a programme where nature and music come together, so it was only right that I lent my talent, my time, and my attention to this project. It was a pleasure to work alongside Sir David Attenborough and Hans Zimmer.”

Jo Shinner, Executive Producer of BBC Studios Natural History Unit said, “From Sir David right through to the crew – we all had to push ourselves creatively and technically under strict Covid social distancing guidelines to bring the magic and scale of this ambitious production to life. In times of crisis, nature can be a real healer, and we hope that this programme will provide inspiration and comfort.”

Julian Hector, Head of BBC Natural History Unit said: “I’m so pleased we can celebrate Planet Earth at this time of great anxiety. I feel sure our audience will feel joy and exhilaration seeing the work of this remarkable team creating natural history through lockdown.”

Planet Earth: A Celebration was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, Content, and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Science. It is made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, co-produced by BBC AMERICA and Tencent Music Entertainment Group (QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing). The Executive Producer is Jo Shinner.

Jon Creamer

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