Autumnwatch will return to the BBC eight months after the long-running show was cancelled.
After 17 years on the air, the wildlife series hosted by Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, and Gillian Burke was cancelled by the national broadcaster in February.
At the time the BBC said the decision had been made off the back of ‘challenging financial times’ and ‘difficult decisions’ left it needing to ‘focus resources on content with the highest impact’.
Instead, extra money was moved to sibling series Springwatch and Winterwatch, albeit the latter was found to be decreased from two weeks to one next year.
The revelation triggered a massive fan backlash, with almost 100,000 people signing a petition to rescue Autumnwatch.
But it’s back, although in a different form.
After collaborating with The One Show to deliver audiences a new fix in autumn, the show will now return for a three-part special.
A trio of films, as well as live link-ups, will be shown across three evenings beginning next Tuesday, October 24, at 7 p.m.
The hosts will be seeing animals around the country, including the UK’s largest colony of greater horseshoe bats, the yearly red deer rut in the New Forest, and the sounds of tawny owls in Kielder Forest, Northumberland.
The One Show hosts will also visit Iolo Williams at RSPB Arne in Dorset, the current home of Springwatch and Winterwatch.
He aims to use infrared camera technology to deliver live footage of sika deer, foxes, hares, and wading birds, as well as movement from a barn owl box.
Each film will depict the yearly variations in animal behaviour as well as conservation efforts.
Michaela, who will come from South Africa to participate, has described autumn as a “beautiful transition in nature’s calendar.”
‘I’m delighted we can continue to bring this seasonal event to viewers across the UK and capture the wonders of British wildlife,’ she said.
Each film will depict the seasonal variations in animal behaviour, as well as the effort being done to safeguard the environment and local species.
BBC Specialist Factual chief Jack Bootle said he was ‘delighted’ to see the series return.
‘Alongside Springwatch and Winterwatch, these specials give us another opportunity to showcase the wonders of British wildlife across the UK with our audience,’ he said.
Joanne Vaughan Jones, editor of The One Show, expressed her excitement at working with the Autumnwatch crew.
‘It’s an exciting opportunity for viewers to tune into incredible live footage of our wildlife across the UK and enjoy scenes from one of our most colourful seasons,’ she said.
Springwatch premiered in 2005, followed by a one-off special Autumnwatch, before becoming a full-fledged series in 2006.
Winterwatch was launched in 2012.
The special Autumnwatch films will be shown on The One Show from Tuesday October 24 to Thursday October 26 at 7pm. Audiences can also catch up on BBC iPlayer.
Source My Celebrity Life.