In two words: absolutely brilliant! For the most part I got to have a back seat and look in on the whole experience from the outside, watching how it all comes together – the camera man, the sound man and the direction all working together. Then, as and when required, swing in front on the camera, present (often two or three times!), and step out again. I found the whole experience quite relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable. However, as it was my first time I did feel the pressure to try and be good but having nothing to base this on I just did what I felt was right. India is a truly wonderful country, not that dissimilar to Nepal where I have spent a lot of time, so I felt very much at home as soon as we arrived.
During the shoot there are two sequences that I particularly enjoyed. Firstly and perhaps most obviously, was when the whole team trekked for 3 hours to over 4000m in order to ‘capture me in my natural environment’ and to talk about the Himalayas. Although only in the foothills of the Himalayas it really felt like we were right on the edge of it all: in the snow, at high altitude, surround by the world’s most magnificent mountains. I loved it, not sure if everyone else did!
The second for me was the turtles on the coast of Odisha. I have a long-standing love for sea turtles having dived, swum and rescued turtles in other countries around the world. They are easily my favourite animal. On day 3 of the turtle shoot we still hadn’t seen the mass hatching and as we headed down to the beach at 04:00am we were all wondering if the turtles would perform. In their tens of thousands they emerged through the night and into the early morning – one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to beat sitting on the east coast of India watching the sunrise over the Bay of Bengal, surrounded by baby turtles.
I didn’t get to meet either of them!! We all filmed in different parts of India – filming our own stories. We also filmed at slightly different times too – I was in April. Meeting both of them would be great but Freida lives in LA so that could be a little tough, but Liz lives in London so hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet her soon.
Yes! Of course I am a little apprehensive about how it will be received but I have no doubt that the series will be a huge success. I’ve been able to see little snippets during the filming, and since during the edit and voice over and it looks and sounds absolutely amazing.
I believe the director of the program is holding a small party at his house and everyone involved will be going – it will a great way to enjoy the program. The real unsung heroes are the guys who spend hours and hours editing the program to perfection, amazing it look so great.
I would definitely be interested in doing more presenting work. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be and working with the team at the BBC has been really great fun. I still have a huge amount to learn about presenting but If I had a choice it would definitely involve big mountains!
Episode 1: Tuesday 1st September @ 21:00 on BBC2
Episode 2: Tuesday 8th September @ 21:00 on BBC2
For all the program details, photos, video clips, a quiz and info on the presenters see the BBC Website