Racer snakes versus iguana wins BAFTA

Planet Earth II’s thrilling footage beats Game of Thrones and Strictly Come Dancing to win TV’s Must-See Moment award. 

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Racer snakes watch and wait for hatching marine iguanas to emerge from their burrows © Elizabeth White

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The tense sequence involving a newly-hatched iguana running a gauntlet of racer snakes from natural-history documentary Planet Earth II has won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award.

The winning Must-See Moment was captured on Fernandina, Galápagos Islands, for the opening Islands episode of the landmark series. 

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A newly hatched marine iguana which made it past the racer snakes © Elizabeth White

After emerging from their nests, hatchling marine iguanas must make their way to the sea. But racer snakes are waiting and it is a feeding opportunity that cannot be missed.

Islands episode producer Elizabeth White says, ““We are really thrilled to receive this award – especially because it was voted by members of the public.”

“It’s really nice to see the natural world featuring as a highlight of the viewing year!”

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A marine iguana hatchling stands frozen to avoid detection by the racer snake © BBC

It wasn’t the only award for the Planet Earth II team. The series also won the Specialist Factual category. This followed its success at the BAFTA Television Craft awards in April where it won Best Photography and Best Sound for the Cities episode. 

Read Elizabeth White’s feature on filming the marine iguanas and racer snakes in our December 2016 issue. 

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