Live from Alexandra Palace, Wildlife Comes to Television

  • Jean-Baptiste GouyonEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science and Popular Culture book series (PSSPC)


This chapter provides a rapid overview of British wildlife television before World War Two, focusing on a programme about the making of the film series Secrets of Life (1934–1950) to introduce the notion that wildlife television is as much about television as it is about wildlife. The chapter then examines Peter Scott’s programmes produced by the BBC in Bristol, which led to the flagship series Look, and Michaela and Armand Denis’s series of films shot in Africa. These two approaches to wildlife television contrast with each other in their aims, one geared toward edification, the other toward entertainment. They are discussed in the light of the cultural repertoire of origin, amateur natural history and imperial big game hunting. Both relied on the construction of their front figures as personalities with audience appeal.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science and Technology StudiesUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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