When is Planet Earth: A Celebration on TV?

BBC One has announced a unique collaboration for a special natural history documentary, titled Planet Earth: A Celebration, which aims to lift viewers' spirits during these uncertain times.

David Attenborough. © Sarah Dunn/BBC

When will Planet Earth: A Celebration be on TV?

Planet Earth: A Celebration will air at 8pm on Monday 31 August on BBC One, and 8/7c on BBC America.

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A group of flamingos performs a courtship dance in a salt lake on the arid Altiplano region of the High Andes. © NHU
A group of flamingos performs a courtship dance in a salt lake on the arid Altiplano region of the High Andes. © NHU

Who will be presenting Planet Earth: A Celebration?

Celebrated broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has recorded a new narration for the programme.

Award winning composer Hans Zimmer, whose work includes The Lion King, the Pirates of the Caribbean series and The Dark Knight trilogy, as well as the scores for Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II and Seven Worlds, One Planet is joined by Jacob Shea and the team at Bleeding Fingers.

“Working with David on so many of his magnificent programs celebrating nature and our planet has been a joy for me,” says Zimmer. “I am constantly inspired by what he is able to capture, and the collection of sequences featured in Planet Earth: A Celebration is truly special.”

They have created new compositions, and have rearranged the original scores, with the string section performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Brit and Mercury Prize-winner rapper Dave has accompanied the orchestra and performed on the grand piano.

Rapper Dave with the BBC Concert Orchestra. © Des Willie/BBC
Dave with the BBC Concert Orchestra. © Des Willie/BBC

In a BBC statement, Dave said, “I’ve always been [a] fan of powerful natural history documentaries.”

“This is a programme where nature and music come together, so it was only right that I lent my talent, my time, and my attention to this project. It was a pleasure to work alongside Sir David Attenborough and Hans Zimmer.”

Which sequences will be used in Planet Earth: A Celebration?

There will be eight sequences from Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II used in this documentary.

Planet Earth II sequences:

  • Desert lions vs giraffe in Namibia
  • Andean flamingoes in Salar de Atacama, Chile
  • Mother snow leopard protecting her cub from two males in the Himalayas
  • Racer snakes vs marine iguanas in Fernandina, Galapagos – which won a BAFTA in 2017.
Galápagos racer snakes peer from their hiding places in the rocks, watching for emerging marine iguana hatchlings. © NHU
Galápagos racer snakes peer from their hiding places in the rocks, watching for emerging marine iguana hatchlings. © NHU

Blue Planet II sequences:

  • Durfing bottlenose dolphins on the East Cape of South Africa
  • Common octopus vs pyjama shark in the kelp forests off the coast of southern Africa
  • Giant trevallies and seabirds in the Indian Ocean
  • Massive gatherings of orca and humpback whales in the fjords of northern Norway

Watch a trailer for Planet Earth: A Celebration


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Main image: David Attenborough. © Sarah Dunn/BBC