Event 20

Lindsay McCrae

My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
When the BBC asked Lindsay McCrae to go to Antarctica to film emperor penguins for Dynasties: Emperor to be narrated by Attenborough, he was thrilled. After discussing it with his wife Becky they agreed that, although it would mean him being away for 11 months, he should do it. But then she became pregnant and it seemed like the worst idea in the world.

My Penguin Year recounts Lindsay’s adventure to the end of the Earth, filming the most resilient creatures in nature, while coping with being over 15,000km away from Becky and home – something that almost proved too much. Out of that experience he has written an unprecedented portrait of Antarctica's most extraordinary residents, the emperor penguins. They march up to 100 miles over solid ice to reach their breeding grounds. They choose to breed in the depths of the worst winter on the planet; and in an unusual role reversal, the males incubate the eggs, fasting for over 100 days to ensure they introduce their chicks safely into their new frozen world. And they are uniquely vulnerable to the unprecedented melting of the polar ice cap. Join McCrae as he relives the preparation and the months he was away and paints a portrait of this deeply moving tale of human endeavour in the harshest environment on the planet that formed the programme and led to his BAFTA win.
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