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Kilauea to star in BBC ‘Volcano Live’ series in July 16 March 2012

Posted by admin in Kilauea, media, volcano culture.
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The BBC likes to do big-budget live TV specials from time to time: they are of course very expensive and complicated, so the corporation has to choose its favoured subjects very carefully. Recently we’ve had natural history (Springwatch), astronomy (Stargazing), and little baby lambs (Lambing Live). The next big live BBC TV subject is a really big one: volcanoes. ‘BBC Two have decided to expand their unique broadcasting technique of commissioning live events with a Volcano Live series’ claims a remarkably illiterate and typo-ridden report at imediamonkey, making it seem that the BBC is actually going to go out there and commission a volcanic eruption. In fact BBC Two is taking the more sensible course of setting up the programme around a volcano that is already erupting, and which erupts in a reasonably predictable and safe way: Hawaii’s Kilauea.

The series will be broadcast in four parts from 9 to 12 July and will combine live reports from Kilauea with segments looking at the phenomenon of volcanism and exploring volcanoes around the world. Professor Iain Stewart (British television’s Mr Geology) and Kate Humble (British television’s Ms Natural History) will do the presenting. According to BBC Two controller Jane Hadlow, ‘Volcano Live will offer BBC Two viewers a rare opportunity to join world-class experts at the forefront of cutting-edge volcanology research. Broadcasting live from the edge of one of the world’s most active volcanoes over four days will offer a completely new and unique way of experiencing this powerful and unpredictable natural phenomenon’.

This is a high-profile project by the BBC which, if it puts the science in the foreground, has the potential to do a great deal for the public understanding of volcanoes and volcanology. Let’s hope it fulfils that potential. Let’s also hope that Kilauea doesn’t decide to end its current long-running eruption before the cameras arrive in July. That would be annoying.

News
BBC Two announces Volcano Live – BBC Two press release, 16 March 2012
BBC Two announces its latest live event series Volcano LiveTelevisual, 16 March 2012 (BBC press release recycled)
BBC Two to broadcast live from active volcano – imediamonkey, 16 March 2012 (BBC press release recycled, with added gibberish)

The Volcanism Blog

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BBC documentary probes the volcanoes of Danakil 19 March 2009

Posted by admin in Africa, Erta Ale, Ethiopia, volcanology.
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There’s only one thing that is more important than news on the BBC News website, and that’s self-promotion: hence the thinly-disguised plugs for BBC television and radio programmes that regularly infest the BBC News pages. Just occasionally, however, the BBC self-publicity machine throws up something worthwhile.

A new two-part documentary on the Danakil region of north-eastern Ethiopia, Hottest Place on Earth, will (among other things) look at the fascinating geology of the region. As part of the programme Dr Dougal Jerram of Durham University will be using 3D technology to provide high resolution maps of the interior of the Dabbahu fissure and the crater of Erta Ale volcano. BBC News has an interesting article by Dr Jerram in which he tells us all about it. The video extract showing his descent into Erta Ale is fascinating, and visually stunning.

The Danakil region was the setting for last November’s dramatic fissure eruption at Alu/Dalaffilla. It would be really nice if some enterprising scientific documentary maker went there and had a look around.

(The BBC likes to get its geologist-presenters to abseil into Erta Ale whenever possible. It’s not that long ago that Dr Iain Stewart was doing it for Earth: Power of the Planet. The video of that found its way onto the BBC News website as well.)

The Volcanism Blog