BBC Two will broadcast Arctic Live, a three-part series exploring the planet’s last undiscovered wilderness. From the edge of the Canadian Arctic, Kate Humble, Simon Reeve and Gordon Buchanan will be live this winter from the shores of Hudson Bay to discover what life is really like on top of the world.
“Churchill and its bears are just part of an incredible global story, and in Arctic Live Kate, Simon and Gordon will explore how these are playing out across the North. The format of bringing audiences to unknown, faraway or hostile environments has proven immensely successful, so it’s wonderful that this knowledgeable team of presenters will be bringing their insight and expertise to guide viewers through the story of the Arctic, at its most critical time.” – Donna Clark, BBC Head of Commissioning, Formats and Features
They will also follow the remarkable journey of hundreds of polar bears as they wait to set off on their winter hunt after months without food. Every year, these bears gather on the shores of the bay waiting for the sea ice to form so they can head out to their frozen hunting grounds. While they wait, they roam the outskirts – and often the streets – of the tiny Manitoba town of Churchill, where the team will set up base. This year, broadcasting live from what’s become known as the polar bear capital of the world, Arctic Live will tell the story of not just these bears, but the entire North.
Life here is changing fast as global temperatures rise and the Arctic is becoming an increasingly valuable battleground. The longer the bears have to wait for their hunting ground to form, the longer the lucrative shipping season becomes. The less ice there is, the easier it becomes to access the oil, gas and minerals hidden beneath the frozen wastes. The story of Churchill and its polar bears will provide an unfolding narrative to a series that gives an unprecedented insight into the issues facing the whole Arctic, as well as the unique cultures and remarkable people who live here.
“This ambitious new programme demonstrates BBC Two’s ongoing commitment to bringing the world to our viewers in innovative new ways. Following the success of Chinese New Year earlier this year and World’s Busiest Railway last autumn, I’m delighted that we are now heading into the stunning landscape of the Canadian Arctic to discover more about the wildlife and people living in this remote part of the world.” – Adam Barker, Acting Channel Editor of BBC Two