UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a new docuseries featuring farmer and TV personality Jimmy Doherty as he explores Britain’s declining bee population and resulting environmental crisis.
Doherty (pictured) studied for a PhD in entomology before becoming a farmer and TV presenter. He’ll work in areas around the city of Peterborough with insect enthusiasts, scientists and C4 viewers to stage experiments and highlight how important bees are to humans and diverse ecosystems, and how the vital insect population can be revived across Britain.
A third of Britain’s bee species have declined since 1980, revealing how vital the bees’ role in natural pollination is to support entire ecosystems and enable agriculture.
Can Jimmy Save the Bees? (w/t; 3 x 60 minutes) is part-funded by Screen Scotland, and is being made by Glasgow-based indie prodco Red Sky Productions. Ross Harper is executive producing. It has been commissioned for C4 by Lee McMurray, commissioning editor for factual entertainment, and Alf Lawrie, head of factual entertainment.
“Since I was a kid, bees have declined so much one species has even become extinct,” said Doherty in a statement. “We need to do everything we can to reverse this trend, because they are more vital to our lives than we realize. I’ve been passionate about insects since I studied entomology, and I’d love to get people all across the UK to join my campaign and help Britain’s bees.”
“Without natural pollinators, there wouldn’t be much more than bread, bananas and rice on our supermarket shelves,” added Harper. “We’re incredibly excited to be working with Channel 4 and Screen Scotland to try to make a real difference to Britain’s threatened bees. It’s a hugely ambitious and timely project to get as people engaged and involved throughout the UK, as we transform spaces in Peterborough to show what can be done. We think that Whitehall, local government, supermarkets, farmers and each and every one of us can do more — and Jimmy is the ideal champion to lead the way.”
The series will bow in 2020 on Channel 4, but no specific air date has been set.