‘That would be a pretty good life’: Steve Backshall reveals which animal he’d like to be reincarnated as
Steve Backshall loves his current one, but the animal enthusiast knows exactly what he would like to come back as in another life, should he get the chance.
The Surrey-born naturalist and wildlife presenter, 49, is all about the orca.
“That would be a pretty good life,” he told the Standard at the launch of the new BBC Earth Experience in London on Wednesday.
He added: “They are so intelligent, cooperative and they have highly developed language. I just think they are extraordinary.”
They are among the plethora of animals featured in the unique immersive experience, which showcases breathtaking footage from BBC Studio’s Seven Worlds, One Planet series accompanied with special narration by Sir David Attenborough.
Opening to the general public from March 30, it is housed in The Daikin Centre, a brand-new, purpose-built building in Earl’s Court, which is demountable and has been designed with a commitment to minimising environmental impact.
Speaking of his involvement, the dad-of-three who is married to Olympic rower Helen Glover, said: “I’m going to be fronting the educational aspect of the whole experience which will allow kids, teachers and school groups to come along and get a little bit extra.
“I think for most people coming along – certainly for me when I brought my kids, it was all about revelling in the glory and the wonder of the spectacle. But, we have an opportunity here to take it a step further than that and for kids to come and learn more about the animals themselves, how they fit into the environment, the habitats that we see them in and to maybe get a sense also of the challenges that those animals and their environments are facing.”
He fully believes that educating children about the wonders of our planet from a young age is vital to its survival.
He said: “We need to get young people to love the wild world because the very people that treasure it are the ones who are going to want to protect it. So the first thing we are going to have to do is to inspire them, to kind of bring them along with glory and majesty, then hopefully they will find their own ways to want to try and protect it.
“I think we have this groundswell of young activists – young people who are so much more aware of the environment than my generation ever was. My four-year-old, who is only in reception, already knows more about climate change, pollution and extinction than I learned in my entire schooling.
“It’s important because the world is facing more human threats than ever before,” he added.
Elsewhere, Backshall – who competed in the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing – has plenty to keep him busy.
He’s currently gearing up for a UK-wide tour in October focusing on oceans and ocean animals.
Excited to hit the road, he said: “We have life-size ocean giants on stage, we have a massive screen with amazing imagery from all the world’s seas and stage science and tricks and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Tickets for BBC Earth Experience are on sale now from £22 for children and £28.50 for adults from www.bbcearthexperience.com