Planet Earth Live to air globally in 140 countries

This May the Earth’s most charismatic animals will be followed day and night by award winning BBC Natural History Unit film makers, international wildlife specialists and BBC viewers around the world* – for an epic global animal soap opera Planet Earth Live where nature writes the script.

Filming in six different time zones, across five diverse continents, in seven locations using spectacular cinematography, real-time filming techniques and up-close HD wildlife footage – the young animals’ struggle for survival during the critical month of May will air across BBC channels around the world.

The lives of the Earth’s youngest animals truly hang in the balance over the course of the series including baby elephants in Kenya, black bears in Minnesota, macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka, meerkats in South Africa, grey whales in the Pacific and lion cubs in the Masaai Mara.

Anchored in Southern Kenya, Top Gear’s Richard Hammond will fulfill his childhood dream as he tracks the Marsh pride of lions with specialist camerawoman Sophie Darlington. The group of lions, made famous by the BBC’s Big Cat Diary, are reaching a crucial time in their history thanks to a pride takeover. A lioness has already escaped with the cubs but with limited food, their survival remains threatened.

Meanwhile over 13,000 kilometres away in the wild Northwoods of Minnesota, Julia Bradbury will get up close and personal with one of the most feared predators on the planet – black bears. Julia joins wildlife expert Dr Lynn Rogers as bear families emerge from their dens with new born cubs. On the Pacific coast Julia will also follow the epic migration of grey whales and their calves running the gauntlet of killer whales.

From the team behind the global phenomenon Frozen Planet , Planet Earth Live will simultaneously broadcast to a global audience** via BBC Knowledge (Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Asia and Italy) BBC Entertainment (India) and BBC HD (Latin America, the Nordic Region, Poland and Turkey).

David Weiland, SVP Programming and TV Channels comments: “We are the only network in the world which can broadcast the biggest wildlife series ever undertaken to an international audience, across multiple platforms. The culmination of ten years development and digital technological innovation from the BBC’s Natural History Unit means our audiences will be a part of this truly global viewing experience, where even the show’s producers don’t know what’s going to happen next, to this cast of truly incredible animals”.

Planet Earth Live is the latest synchronised broadcast from BBC Worldwide, reinforcing the network’s commitment to stage bold and ambitious global television events, showcasing the very best of British programming and UK talent to the World. Following on from The Royal Wedding in 2011, Sport Relief in March 2012; Planet Earth Live is the second global moment for our international audiences to share this year. Planet Earth Live will be closely followed this summer by London Calling – a unique season of programming celebrating the music, fashion, art, culture and history of Britain’s capital city; led by live coverage from the spectacular Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

In New Zealand, Planet Earth Live will broadcast from Monday May 7 at 6:50am on BBC Knowledge with a special encore screening that evening at 9:30pm.

Planet Earth Live will continue for three weeks into May, Monday & Friday Mornings at 7am followed by the encore screening at 9.30pm.

Monday May 7 at 6:50am and 9:30pm (NZST)
Friday May 11 at 7:00am and 9:30pm (NZST)
Monday May 14 at 7:00am and 9:30pm (NZST)
Friday May 18 at 7:00am and 9:30pm (NZST)
Monday May 21 at 7:00am and 9:30pm (NZST)
Friday May 25 at 7:00am and 9:30pm (NZST)

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