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David Attenborough Braves -18C Temperatures To Film New Series

by : Hannah Smith on :
David Attenborough Braves -18C Temperatures To Film New Series
David Attenborough Braves -18C Temperatures To Film New Series (BBC Studios/Alamy)

He may be 95 years old, but David Attenborough still has plenty of appetite for adventure, as his latest documentary series makes clear.

The beloved presenter is back on our screens with his new BBC nature series The Green Planet, but as well as filming in luscious rainforests, Attenborough braved some truly extreme conditions for the show, travelling to the Arctic Circle to explore how plants survive bitter winters.

In the episode, Attenborough finds himself in the Tykky forest in Finland, where temperatures reached as low as -18°C during filming. The devoted nature broadcaster is seen up to his knees in deep snow, wearing multiple layers of thermals and thick winter jackets to keep warm.

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'Temperatures in Finland in February are by no means warm, even with the sun. It was -18°C,' the show's producer Rosie Thomas told The Mirror. 'He had hot water bottles, heated blankets and he was wearing about six coats. I was there 10 days and it snowed every day apart from the day David was there and the sun came out.'

Thomas also explained that filming in the below-freezing temperatures came with challenges that weren't just limited to making sure the star presenter kept warm.

'Batteries were losing charge extraordinarily quickly, our drones were struggling and no one could stay warm for long,' she said. 'Thankfully the crew were able to stay relatively warm in a tiny hut at the top of the mountain.'

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David Attenborough in Finland (BBC)
David Attenborough in Finland (BBC)
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David Attenborough Warns Humans ‘On Verge Of Destabilising The Entire Planet’

published ata year ago

Once a fixture of his documentaries, scenes of Attenborough exploring far-flung corners of the world are becoming increasingly rare these days, with the environmentalist admitting in 2020 that he was scaling back the amount of travelling he was prepared to do for his shows, saying that as he grew older his 'heart was sinking deeper and deeper' at the thought of spending time on long flights.

Attenborough has also acknowledged he feels trapped in a 'paradox' when it comes to the environmental cost of the travel required to film environmental documentaries aiming to spread awareness of climate change. But as he told the Radio Times, being able to see nature up close still carries a 'hypnotic appeal'.

For The Green Planet, the nonagenarian has resumed his travels, appearing on location from deserts in the United States to the jungle in Costa Rica.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism and culture.

Topics: Film & TV, David Attenborough, Film and TV