Hollywood star Kate Winslet is voicing a new BBC natural history film following the fortunes of a young Emperor Penguin.

Snow Chick has been shot in an Antarctic Midwinter – where temperatures plummet to -60 degrees Celsius – and follows the fortunes of the tiny creature’s first precarious months on the ice. The one-off film will air over Christmas on BBC1.

Emperor Penguins are the only animals to breed in the Antarctic winter and the film sees Snow Chick elbowed out of her group of youngsters, venturing too far for comfort, hiding from chick-snatching penguins and avoiding a scavenging petrel by the fluff of his back – all while slipping and skating on treacherous ice.

Finally, the chick gets tossed unceremoniously into the open ocean – his new home for the next three years.

“This has to be one of nature’s most incredible stories, and one huge adventure for such a tiny creature,” said John Downer, director of the programme who also made Penguins: Spy in the Huddle which aired on BBC1 last year.