BBC Natural World celebrates 25 years with The Gorilla King

'not only the doyen and founding member of the 50-minute natural history genre but is still the one with the best'- Attenborough

Natural World, BBC Two's award-winning natural history series, has been re-commissioned for a further three years in the year it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The series, produced by the BBC's world renowned Natural History Unit, started over 40 years ago in 1967 as The World About Us, and in 1983 it became Natural World.

Consisting of mainly one-off in-depth films, the series commissions the very best individual natural history programmes from BBC producers, UK independents and top international wildlife filmmakers.

Head of the BBC's Natural History Unit, and former Natural World editor, Neil Nightingale, said: 'By continually reinventing the way it explores exciting wildlife stories, Natural World remains as fresh and relevant to audiences today as when it first started 25 years ago.

'Its quality is as high as ever, with the series regularly winning British and international awards for its beautiful filming and compelling stories.'

David Attenborough, who commissioned The World About Us, the pre-cursor to Natural World when he was Controller of BBC Two, has been very involved with the series: 'I have no doubt that Natural World is not only the doyen and founding member of the 50-minute natural history genre but is still the one with the best and most distinguished record.'

Titus The Gorilla King
The BBC Two series kicks off on 11 November with a retrospective film about one of the world's most studied gorillas. The Gorilla King follows the story of a 33-year-old gorilla whose bloodline dates back to the Rwandan gorilla troupe originally studied by researcher Dian Fossey back in 1967. Forty years on, the programme looks back at the dramatic life story of this extraordinary animal.
Titus' father was murdered by poachers in front of him. And he was abandoned by his mother in the subsequent chaos. His family had disintegrated and the young Titus should have died. A great story of a true survivor

Using archive footage and testament from the researchers who followed his progress and continue to observe his life, the incredible story of Titus' success and survival unfolds.

'He's an old friend – and I use the word deliberately. 'I would argue that if you share 97.7 per cent of your DNA with someone, as well as a relationship based on mutual trust and – if I read him right – pleasure in each other's company, the term 'friend' feels right.' - Ape conservationist, Ian Redmond

'I'm really proud that 25 years on Natural World continues to go from strength to strength,' said current series editor, Tim Martin 'and that the BBC has awarded it a new three year deal. 'Natural World is important for the health of the wildlife TV industry – it's a place where we can try out new camera techniques, new ways of using music or new approaches to storytelling.'

Natural World is the longest-running wildlife documentary strand on British television.

Originally named The World About Us, the series started in 1967, commissioned by the then BBC Two controller David Attenborough, who was expanding the range of colour programmes on the fledgling channel.

Production duties were shared between the Travel and Exploration Unit, in London, and Bristol's Natural History Unit.

In 1983 the films were narrowed down to natural history so were produced exclusively by the Natural History Unit.

Over the past 25 years there have been 436 episodes of Natural World.

Each year 17 individual natural history films are commissioned by the BBC from leading independent wildlife filmmakers, or produced in-house by the BBC's Natural History Unit.

David Attenborough narrating over 45 episodes of Natural World and The World About Us between 1969 and 2008.

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