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Review: Talk with BBC Planet Earth II producer Chadden Hunter

PUBLISHED: 16:23 30 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 31 July 2017

BBC Planet Earth II producer Dr Chadden Hunter hosted a talk about the series for King's Lynn Festival 2017. Picture: Chadden Hunter

BBC Planet Earth II producer Dr Chadden Hunter hosted a talk about the series for King's Lynn Festival 2017. Picture: Chadden Hunter

Chadden Hunter

BBC Planet Earth II producer, Dr Chadden Hunter, began his talk for King’s Lynn Festival by apologising for not bringing a “lynn”.

Scenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterScenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

He said he knew kings had them but he wasn’t quite sure what a lynn was.

And so began a two-hour show at St George’s Guildhall on the making of David Attenborough’s epic wildlife series, peppered with light humour and important messages of conservation.

The audience were given a reminder of what was to come with a screening of the extended documentary trailer, which, judging by the light gasps that could be heard throughout the auditorium, took our breath away.

And this, Dr Hunter said, was the first impression he wanted to hold on to throughout the talk, and he succeeded.

Behind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterBehind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

The crowds were left in awe after hearing the great lengths the film crew underwent in making the award-winning shows.

Some highlight footage included Dr Hunter spending months in a bat-poo filled cave in Borneo, wading through crocodile infested waters in Botswana and getting struck by penguins shooting out of the water in the Antarctic.

One of the most memorable anecdotes was Dr Hunter’s experience of being pursued by a polar bear on the tundra.

Making light of the situation, Dr Hunter said he was advised not to run but to “walk very fast” back to the crew’s wooden cabin.

Scenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterScenes from the award-winning wildlife documentary Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

Once safely indoors, the polar bear caught up and was clawing away at the door.

And how do you deal with a polar bear at your doorstep? You put the kettle on.

The audience were glad to hear that in a life-death scenario there’s nothing quite like doing the British thing and just waiting it out with a cup of tea.

All jokes aside, Dr Hunter finished the talk with a gentle plea for us all to consider the ethical challenges wildlife face today.

A harvest mouse, which featured in the Grasslands episode, being filmed in Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Fakenham. Picture: Chadden HunterA harvest mouse, which featured in the Grasslands episode, being filmed in Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Fakenham. Picture: Chadden Hunter

He said one of the struggles behind making nature documentaries is striking a balance between entertainment and relaying key messages about the environment.

“Depression is not a good motivator.” He said. But making documentaries like Planet Earth II and raising the issues for discussion is one way of leaving a lasting impression on us all, to think more about our planet.

After leaving the venue, the lasting impression had certainly taken a hold.

Dr Chadden Hunter making friends behind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden HunterDr Chadden Hunter making friends behind the scenes of Planet Earth II. Picture: Chadden Hunter

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