Planet Earth Live (TV series)

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Planet Earth Live
Genre Nature documentary
Directed by Will Clough
Phil Jennings
James Morgan
Presented by Richard Hammond
Julia Bradbury
Composer(s) Will Slater
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 8
Executive producer(s) Tim Scoones
Producer(s) Roger Webb
Stuart Armstrong
Lucinda Axelsson
Andy Chastney
Vanessa Coates
Location(s) Kenya, United States, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Peru
Running time 60–70 minutes
Production company(s) BBC Natural History Unit
National Geographic Channel
Distributor BBC
Original network BBC One
Picture format 16:9 576i (SDTV)
16:9 1080i (HDTV)
Original release 6 May (2012-05-06) – 24 May 2012 (2012-05-24)
Related shows Planet Earth
External links

Planet Earth Live is a live-action nature documentary screened on British television. Produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and broadcast in May 2012, the programme was presented by Richard Hammond and Julia Bradbury.[1]


Planet Earth Live featured real-time footage of young animals from five continents[2] throughout the month of May.[1] Broadcast three times per week, teams of nature experts and documentary makers monitored the activity of animals in their area, reporting back on the day's events.[3] Animals featured included meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, American black bears in Minnesota, lions and African bush elephants in East Africa, toque macaques in Sri Lanka, gray whales off the coast of California, polar bears in Svalbard and giant otters in Peru.

The programme was shown in May 2012 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and was broadcast in 140 countries in total, making it the most amibitious global wildlife series the BBC had ever undertaken.[4] In the US it was retitled 24/7 Wild and aired on NatGeo Wild; in South Africa, Asia, Australia, Italy, Nordic countries, New Zealand and Poland it was shown on BBC Knowledge; and in India on BBC Entertainment.[5]


Episode No. Airdate Total viewers Weekly channel ranking
1 6 May 2012 6.06m 8
2 9 May 2012 4.12m 24
3 10 May 2012 4.06m 26
4 13 May 2012 5.18m 10
5 16 May 2012 4.64m 17
6 17 May 2012 Under 4.15m Outside top 30
7 20 May 2012 4.31m 27
8 24 May 2012 Under 3.32m Outside top 30

Critical reception[edit]

The show was criticised for the lack of live coverage, with many of the animal scenes having been pre-recorded.[6][7][8][9] There were also mixed reviews with regard to the style of presenters. Some of the viewers praised the choice of Richard Hammond and Julia Bradbury, as fresh and put across the facts in an easy to understand way, whereas others felt that the presenters were not wildlife experts, were out of their depth and inappropriate for this genre. BBC meanwhile, claim that the show has a huge viewership and only a relatively small number of complaints.[2][8][10][11]


  1. ^ a b Mohan, Isabel (3 May 2012). "Planet Earth Live, BBC One, preview". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Tim (8 May 2012). "Richard Hammond has ruined Planet Earth Live, say viewers". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Gee, Catherine (4 May 2012). "Planet Earth Live: a 'global Springwatch' from the BBC". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "The most ambitious BBC global wildlife series ever undertaken - Planet Earth Live to air globally in 140 countries". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Planet Earth Live: On TV". BBC one. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Ward, Victoria (8 May 2012). "Planet Earth Live criticised for lack of live action". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Attewill, Fred (8 May 2012). "Viewers call on BBC to scrap Planet Earth Live after animal no-show". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Hogan, Phil (13 May 2012). "Rewind TV: Homeland; Prisoners of War; Planet Earth Live; A Civil Arrangement; Edward VIII: The Plot to Topple a King". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  9. ^ O'Sullivan, Kevin (27 May 2012). "What on Earth were the Beeb thinking with Planet Earth Live?". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "BBC Points of View website for Planet Earth Live comments". 8 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Edwards, Tim (8 May 2012). "BBC defends 'popular' Richard Hammond from Planet Earth Live critics". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 

External links[edit]