Steve Backshall is a wildlife expert, travel adventurer, presenter of Deadly 60 and author of 13 books
‘My day can start at dawn if we’re away filming as we fit in with the rhythms of wildlife. We’ll rise from our hammocks, put on our horribly wet clothes from the day before and set off to see what we can find. With me will be a sound man, camera man and the director.
‘We do as much research as we can before we arrive in a country and always know there’ll be a few animals we’re likely to find, but we also just go out with the camera and see what we come across. This keeps it real and often ends up as the best footage.
‘I’ve always had a love of the outdoors and it turned into a career. My first job came about when I took a video camera with me on a trip to Colombia and sold the film to National Geographic. They made me their Adventurer in Residence, producing natural history programmes for them. I then moved on to producing and presenting The Really Wild Show and other shows for the BBC, including Deadly 60.
‘I love exploration for exploration’s sake and knowing that even in this day and age there are still rock faces to climb that have never been climbed before. I have had so many great moments, but I think the most unusual thing I’ve done was diving with anacondas which were as wide as my waist, in Brazil, with one bumping its nose into my camera.
‘Filming doesn’t always go to plan. I was once doing a piece to camera, sitting in front of a critically endangered mountain gorilla. But every time I started talking it would let rip with a really loud fart that lasted for 30 seconds. We had to give up filming in the end!
‘I always love new challenges, which is why I did Strictly Come Dancing. It was so all-encompassing and physically demanding in a way I wasn’t used to, but I loved it.
‘I love sharing my experiences with children and watching their enthusiasm. I do have an ulterior motive for doing the shows and tours – we are leaving this world in their hands and they need to know how to protect it.
‘Over the next couple of months my day will end with a tour show, but if I’m not doing that, sitting in a hammock with my girlfriend, watching the sun go down, is the best possible end to a day.’
Steve is travelling the Uk with his Wild World Tour and appears at Richmond Theatre on 8 November 2015