David Attenborough to explore The Great Barrier Reef in new landmark BBC1 nature series

Legendary presenter to return to the “rainforest of the ocean” in Queensland after first shooting there in 1957, he exclusively reveals to RadioTimes.com

David Attenborough is heading off to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to film his next landmark nature series for BBC1, RadioTimes.com can reveal.


He also says that some of the epic BBC1 series will be shot in 3D for a potential IMAX project.

Attenborough, who first filmed on the Great Barrier Reef for the BBC programme Zoo Quest in 1957 said that much of the filming will take place underwater – although now he is approaching his 89th year he is not expected to spend as much time in a wetsuit as he did nearly fifty years ago.

“People say to me, ‘what was the most magical thing you ever saw in your life?’…and I always say without a word of exaggeration, ‘the first time I was lucky enough to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef,’ he told RadioTimes.com.  

“As I entered the water I remember suddenly seeing these amazing multi-coloured species living in communities…just astounding and unforgettable beauty. So I’m very excited to be returning to the Reef with all the latest technology and science to see one of the most important places on the planet in a whole new way.”

The BBC has confirmed the commission and said that the programme will “use pioneering camera technology and draw on the latest research to investigate the Reef in revelatory ways.“

This will including using satellite scanning to show the 2,300km expanse of living coral, and revolutionary macro lenses that will capture the Reef’s tiniest, normally unseen, life-forms.

“Combined with David Attenborough’s masterful storytelling on location and trademark engagement with wildlife, this series will provide a uniquely authored insight into a global treasure, and uncover the history and secrets of this richly bio-diverse landmark,” the BBC said in a statement.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said of the commission “With the combination of David Attenborough’s personal connection with the Reef, his masterful storytelling and the very latest cutting edge technology,  viewers will see the Great Barrier Reef as we’ve never seen it before – a really exciting visual treat for BBC1.”


A BBC source said that the 3D aspect of the shoot will involve some test shots and the “exploration of the potential for an additional 3D IMAX project” but was unable to give any more details. It is understood that this is a distinct project from the TV commission.