On ITV1 this spring, the iconic TV series Survival returns to our screens, hosted by none other than Ray Mears. Beginning in April, this brand new series comprises of three hour-long programmes, focusing on Ray’s extraordinary animal tracking and wilderness skills.
In this ground-breaking series, Ray sets himself the ultimate challenge: to track the world’s top predators. Ray will use his expert tracking skills and extensive wildlife knowledge to follow the leopard in Namibia, the bear in British Colombia, and the wolf in Central Idaho.
By reading the clues these animals leave behind, he offers viewers the unique opportunity to gain a rich insight into their habits and lifestyles, as he follows them at remarkably close quarters in their natural habitats.
Survival with Ray Mears brings to life the skills Ray has in a truly exciting and compelling way: there are tears after a wolf he has been tracking for several days dies; moments of genuine danger as a bear appears at just 20 feet away; and a lifetime highlight of watching leopards at night.
Underpinning each film as Ray tracks the animals is a sub-plot focusing on the current state of each species, and the threats they now face: in Idaho the crew arrives with only days to countdown before the wolf’s status as a protected species is lifted, and local farmers indicate their intention to begin hunting them; in British Columbia the impact of global warming on the salmon population is felt by the bear, which relies on the fish as its main food source; and in Namibia, the uneasy co-existence between leopards and local farmers keen to protect their livestock, is highlighted.
Each film stunningly showcases some of nature’s richest playgrounds, set amid breath-taking scenery, which are home to an array of wildlife beyond the species being tracked.
Survival in 2010 brings one of the network’s most prestigious and popular brands back to ITV, building on the classical animal storytelling of a series that broke new ground in wildlife documentary-making from its first transmission in 1960. This time round, the series clearly illustrates the all-consuming passion one man has for the world’s wildlife, and his commitment to helping us understand more about them.
“For over 20 years I’ve been exploring the wild outdoors and what fascinates me more than anything, are the secret lives of wild animals. When I learned how to follow the clues that animals leave behind, it opened up a whole new world of understanding. And in this series I’m putting my skills to the test by tracking the world’s top predators.” – Ray Mears