Penguins and Meerkats

Penguins and Meerkats — two natural history specials for Christmas

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OK, they may not be cult television in the strictest sense, but the BBC is treating us to meerkats and penguins this Christmas in two specials from the Natural History Unit.

The announcement gives full details, but all you need to know is both programmes will be premiering on BBC One this Christmas.

Meerkat: A Dynasties Special is a one-off special which follows the award-winning series Dynasties that redefined natural history filmmaking in 2018.

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the special follows the dramatic story of a young meerkat queen, Maghogho, on a quest to establish her dynasty in one of the harshest places on earth. Her kingdom lies amongst the dramatic beauty of the Makadikadi salt pans in Botswana. The desert is so hot and dry here that almost nothing can survive – and yet it is here that she must raise her pups.

To succeed in this desolate and extreme landscape, she will need the support of all of her family. Maghogho’s challenge is to unite and lead them as a team – working together to overcome adversity.

Penguins: Meet the Family introduces viewers to every single species in this iconic bird family. Narrated by Liz Bonnin, viewers will meet penguins living in dense forests, desert burrows and city streets, from the Equator to deepest Antarctica.

Enjoy the heart-warming moment an Emperor Penguin chick steps away from the safety of it father’s feet and experiences its first flurry of snow. Revel in the beauty of the majestic King Penguins as they overcome a catastrophic molt, swapping their ragged feathers for a brand new outfit. And peer into penguin’s lives, witnessing spectacular colonies in some of the wildest places on the planet.

Audiences will join the penguins as they battle the elements, face the perils of rock climbing and confront dangerous sea lions. Discover how these wonderful characters form lifelong bonds and become devoted parents, and see how satellite imagery is revealing new penguin colonies we never knew existed before.

Meerkats and penguins promise to add to our TV enjoyment this festive season, and we do wonder if the BBC will add these to its Ultra HD portfolio, so viewers can be treated to some real spectacles. We can’t wait to find out