BBC team here to retrace Raleigh’s footsteps


THE British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is in Guyana to film a 10 part series titled ‘Serious Explorers’, retracing the footsteps of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad, made this disclosure last week, during an interview at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, CJIA, Timehri.
“This TV series, which focuses on adventure for kids, is an award-winning one, having won the British Association of Film and TV Awards and will be aired in October 2011 on BBC 1 in the UK,” he  said.
It will be aired in over 150 countries around the world, reaching an audience of over 60 million viewers.
As for the impact of this magnitude of exposure, Prashad noted that the series will serve to boost Guyana’s image and destination awareness.
The team will be in the Waini River on Friday of this week on board the sail boat ‘Scaramouche’.
Filming will be done in the Waini, Kaieteur, Rupununi, Mahdia, Mt. Roraima, Suruma, Rupununi, Rewa, among other locations.
The BBC is fascinated by pristine ‘Guyana – the Amazon Adventure’, and by its environmental stewardship; and after the three-part series, ‘the Lost Land of the Jaguars’, which gave Guyana tremendous exposure, they will be back again to share Guyana’s story, secrets and beauty with the world .
Minister Prashad said that this would provide amazing coverage for ‘Destination Guyana’ and will help to create more demand for the Guyana tourism product.
“This BBC series will also help to strongly position and promote Guyana as a must-see and unique tourism destination. It will provide excellent PR and help to build our brand and image as the hot new destination,” he insisted.
In addition to this, he disclosed that ICON Films (commissioned by ANIMAL PLANET) will also be here in February to film a two-hour documentary on Monster Rivers, featuring the Essequibo River, wildlife, the Rupununi, Kaieteur, and Iwokrama, our indigenous peoples and our culture.
“Again this will be beamed to a worldwide audience,” he announced.
The ‘Serious’ BBC TV series is an observational documentary series broadcast as part of their children’s programming. It encompasses Serious Jungle (2002), Serious Desert (2003), Serious Arctic (2005), Serious Amazon (2006), Serious Andes (2007) and Serious Ocean (2008/09). Serious Ocean consists of ten 30-minute episodes, while each previous series was six 30-minute episodes.
In each series, a group of eight 12 to 15-year-olds embarked on an expedition to an extreme part of the world, in order to help wildlife or assist in environmental projects.
The programmes have won numerous awards, among them honours from British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Royal Television Society.
During late July and October, last year, Minister Prashad held discussions with Expedition Leader, Mr. Ben Major, about the exploration to retrace Raleigh’s search for the fabled “El Dorado – the City of Gold.”
Like Raleigh, the team, including eight youngsters, ages 12 to 15, will sail across the Caribbean from Trinidad and Tobago to the coast of Guyana, in sail boats, and will trek in unspoilt rainforest, explore the Guyana wilderness, and experience the life of our local indigenous peoples.
During this adventurous five weeks, they will also learn about the country’s rich history and diverse culture, and footage will be shot at several prime tourist attractions.