Graduate contributes to TV’s ‘moment of the year’

Image of a lizard from planet earth BBC programme
Image courtesy of BBC Planet Earth

Southampton graduate Tom Crowley (BSc Marine Science, 2001) is enjoying the double success of the BBC’s much-heralded Planet Earth II after the nature programme scooped two awards at this year’s British Academy Television Awards.

Tom, a wildlife camera operator and assistant producer for the BBC’s Natural History Unit, travelled the world to film sequences for Planet Earth II which won BAFTAs for Specialist Factual and Must-see Moment. On its debut in November 2016, Planet Earth II became the UK’s most-watched natural history documentary in more than 15 years, attracting over 12.2m views.

One of the most compelling sequences of the series captured by Tom and his colleagues depicted a newly-hatched Marine Iguana attempting to run a gauntlet of Galapagos racer snakes to make its way to the sea and survival. Not only was the footage named Must-see Moment of the last 12 months by BAFTA, it also won the Timeline TV Moment of the Year at the Broadcast Awards earlier this year.

“The reaction to the Marine Iguana sequence has been quite remarkable; I would never have guessed that people would be shouting and cheering at their televisions as a small reptile ran furiously away from a bunch of snakes! It was just the type of story I love to film; really strong behaviour and very compelling,” said Tom.

I think Planet Earth II doing so well probably was my proudest moment, and more so because my parents were proud too. They have supported me all the way so it’s a nice way to pay them back

Read our full interview with Tom in the last issue of Southampton Connects Alumni and Supporters.

Images supplied by the BBC Planet Earth II programme.

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