Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall stars in a new BBC Two series about the wildlife of the West Country, Hugh’s Wild West.
Filmed over the course of an entire year, the series follows Hugh as he pursues his passion for nature in the company of the South West’s most dedicated wildlife enthusiasts. It features encounters with dolphins and wild boar, along with in-depth exploration of the South West’s most cherished landscapes.
Chris Bennion praised HUGH’S WILD WEST in The Times Saturday Review:
“In the post-Christmas fug you may have missed this gentle new nature series fronted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall that started last week. It is, however, worth a slice of your Saturday night, because it provides a cleansing antidote to the slew of violent crime dramas and whizz-bang American box sets that you “Must. Watch. Now!” In fact, what it truly offers is an alternative to — as a now neatly trimmed Fearnley-Whittingstall enthuses his way around the west of England, seeking out its most interesting fauna — is the brilliant, but overblown Planet Earth/Blue Planet series. There’s a time for David Attenborough’s bombastic, Hans Zimmer-scored majesty, but there’s also a time for something quieter and more tangible. Few of us will swim with sharks or walk with polar bears, but most of us can spot a harvest mouse or catch a minnow. Last week Fearnley-Whittingstall was in the Wye Valley spotting dippers and lesser horseshoe bats, and this week he is on the Jurassic coast on the hunt for a creature that “seems to come from another planet”: the cuttlefish. With three hearts, blue blood and the ability to impersonate a moving magic-eye picture, the cuttlefish is peculiar indeed and Fearnley-Whittingstall tries to capture them on camera during breeding season. He also helps some volunteers on Chesil Beach to protect the little tern (a bird that makes “very bad life choices”), goes for a late-night tramp to spot glow worms, discovers the incredible nest-building ability of the black bream (“difficult to catch, delicious to eat”) and goes back to the rock pools of this youth to see if he can capture a few critters with naught but a two quid net. Created with the Open University, this 12-part series has been made to encourage us to get out and get to know Britain’s creatures. A new year’s resolution perhaps?”
The programme airs on BBC Two on Saturdays at 6.15pm.