By Purple Planet, 25-Feb-2012 20:02:00
I quite enjoy the relativly harmless TV genre of chasing storms/snakes/volcanic
eruptions etc. The problem producers always face with these shows is why, precisely,
is the presenter putting themsleves in danger in the first place?
The simple answer (that viewers enjoy it) isn't really a goer, so instead, they
have to invent some factous 'scientific' or personal reason why it is vital for
them to walk into a tornado or put their hand into a mouth of a Bengal tiger.
Excuses I've witnessed recently are, 'I like to photograph them [dangerous
animals] at close quarters'; 'I want to learn about how we can predict them better'
(hurricanes) and an all-time classic in BBC's 'Swimming with Crocodiles'.
Apparently, the ability to swim with crocs contributes to our understanding of
how they percieve shapes. Vital stuff, clearly - and certainly can't be done with
a bit of sackcloth dangled in the river. Oh no, you really have to get down
there in the murky gloom and risk being the crocs light starter course.
The affable Ben Fogle manages this with good grace, and in the unlikely event
he is torn to shreds his heirs will doubtlessly be comforted by the fact that he
contributed to the study of animal perceptual processes.
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