When are Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK on TV?

Return to the oceans with these new BBC programmes celebrating the marine wildlife of our beautiful blue planet.

Green turtle. © Ellis Roberts/BBC

What are Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK?

The BBC’s duo of Blue Planet series successfully captivated TV audiences by opening their eyes to wonders beneath the waves – the resourceful orange-dotted tuskfish and unearthly barreleye are just two species that spring to mind.

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Now, we’re invited to submerge ourselves into the world of aquatic wildlife once more, as Blue Planet Live is due to air at the end of March.   

“With a live show, you never know entirely what you are going to get,” says series producer Vanessa Coates, “but our teams will be positioned in hotspots around the globe that we hope will offer some of the most exciting marine life.” 

In the same week, Blue Planet UK will focus on the UK’s marine wildlife.

“Across the week the programmes will feature he latest in science, conservation and fishing to offer a health check of our seas,” the BBC explained.

“The presenters will dip their toes back in history to see what used to live in British waters and explain how people have influenced what’s living there today. Blue Planet UK will also follow up on the huge global impact of Blue Planet II to look at how own lifestyles affect the future of our oceans.”

When are Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK on?

Episode one of Blue Planet Live will be aired on Sunday 24 March 2019 at 8pm on BBC One, followed by episode two on Wednesday 27 March, episode three on Thursday 28 March and episode four on Sunday 31 March.

Blue Planet UK will be aired during the daytime between 25 and 29 March 2019 on BBC One at 4.30pm.

Watch the trailer for Blue Planet Live:

Who is presenting Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK?

Blue Planet Live will be presented by Liz Bonnin, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall.

Chris Packham Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall will be presenting Blue Planet Live. © Joe Giacomet/BBC
Chris Packham, Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall will be presenting Blue Planet Live. © Joe Giacomet/BBC

Blue Planet UK will be presented by Chris Packham, Gillian Burke and Steve Brown.

Steve Brown and Gillian Burke. © Joe Giacomet/BBC
Steve Brown and Gillian Burke. © Joe Giacomet/BBC
Chris Packham. © Joe Giacomet/BBC
Chris Packham. © Joe Giacomet/BBC

Where are Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK filmed?

Blue Planet Live will be broadcast from three different locations.

Chris Packham will be on Baja peninsula on the western coast of Mexico at the largest whale nursery in the world. He will be finding out why whales are important and what they tell us about the health of our oceans.

Snot bot is a specially designed drone deployed to fly over whales, under permit, to collect their mucus. © Ocean Alliance/Christian Miller
Snot bot is a specially designed drone deployed to fly over whales, under permit, to collect their mucus. © Ocean Alliance/Christian Miller

In the Bahamas, Steve Backshall will be trying to see and film the extraordinary shark gatherings that take place in the waters around this small island.

Caribbean reef shark, Bahamas. © Mark McLean/BBC
Caribbean reef shark, Bahamas. © Mark McLean/BBC

At the Great Barrier Reef, Liz Bonnin will be monitoring this fragile environment and following up on her documentary about plastic pollution in the oceans.

© Greg Sullavan/BBC
© Greg Sullavan/BBC

The expedition research vessel Atlantis (plus its deep-sub Alvin) in the Pacific will be exploring the mysterious world of the deep ocean.

“Each of these species share common ground in terms of the challenges they face. All of them are vital to the wellbeing of our seas,” Vanessa explains. “We’ll also be revisiting some familiar species and locations – as well as some new ones – with special access to a research vessel, exploring the Pacific to unveil the mysteries of the deep ocean.” 

After the impact of plastic waste was brought sharply into focus by Blue Planet II, this latest series provides an update on the issues and conservation efforts in place. 

“This will be a comprehensive analysis of life in our oceans, whilst charting the greatest environmental threats facing all marine life,” says Vanessa. “It will be a celebration and a stark wake-up call, broadcasting live from across the planet.”

Blue Planet UK was filmed in a variety of locations around the country, including the Cornwall, the Borders, Yorkshire.

What is Blue Planet – Live Lesson?

To coincide with Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK, a special 40-minute interactive programme will be broadcast at 2pm on Tuesday 26 March, to bring marine life into classrooms.

Within the programme, children will discover the magnitude of our oceans, discuss the threats to marine life such as plastics and overfishing and explore what constitutes a healthy ecosystem.

The Blue Planet – Live Lesson programme will be presented by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson and Lizzie Daly. The children will hear from Blue Planet Live’s Steve Backshall, live in the Bahamas, throughout the programme as he explains what sharks can teach us about ecosystems, how human behaviour can threaten shark life and how the UK is connected with animals across the world.

“This is a unique opportunity to bring life beneath the waves right into your classroom!” says Lizzie Daly, a wildlife biologist and presenter. “I’m really excited to be part of this live lesson, and this is not one to miss. Not only are we getting an up close look at the lives of some of the world’s most iconic and charismatic marine species but also delving into the increasing environmental pressures our oceans are facing.”

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This programme is aimed at 7-11 year olds (Key Stage 2), and can be watched via the BBC Live Lessons website. BBC Live Lessons are free, interactive webcasts made specifically with the classroom and curriculum in mind. They’re written and designed to fit in with curriculum aims.