Easter Eggs Live
The egg is one of nature's most ingenious creations. Now a new series of live Easter programmes on Channel 4 and live streaming at channel4.com/eggs will reveal the wonderful - and downright weird - world of eggs for the first time.
The programmes are presented by Mark Evans, alongside Jimmy Doherty and amphibian enthusiast Lucy Cooke as well as leading experts.
From crocodiles to cockroaches, fish to frogs, turtles to termites, sharks to snakes, penguins to preying mantis and spiders to salamanders, 99% of life comes from an egg. The programmes will show amazing imagery of hatching across a wide range of homegrown and exotic eggs from around the world.
Broadcast from a striking, state-of-the-art hatching studio, the programmes will be a TV and science first, exploring the new science of embryonic behavior across the animal kingdom and promising startling new insights into animal behavior from the hidden world inside the shell.
Using the very latest equipment, including powerful scanners and super-sensitive microphones, the programmes will reveal the beginnings of life like never before and show the remarkable, life-or-death journeys animals make as they break out and begin life in the outside world.
Viewers will be able to listen in, for the first time, as, BAFTA award-winning sound recordist Chris Watson wires up the eggs for sounds and vibrations. He will eavesdrop on reptile heartbeats; listen in to bird embryos talking to their siblings and calling out to their parents for attention and tune in to insect eggs as they explode into life.
The programmes will also reveal that some bird embryos learn ‘secret passwords' from their parents - a single note that they sing when they hatch. They will also showcase never-before-seen footage of lizards hatching early to escape danger; unveil unseen images of caterpillars transforming into butterflies inside the cocoon and scientists will, for the first time, attempt to grow man-made eggshell.
And Mark will be making a live phone call to Australia - to a croc!
The programmes are commissioned by Channel 4's Commissioning Editor for Specialist Factual, Sara Ramsden. The Series Producer is Jamie Lochhead(and the Executive Producer is David Dugan at Windfall Films.
Produced by the BAFTA award-winning team who made Inside Nature's Giants and Foxes Live - Wild in the City, Easter Eggs Live will be a spectacular celebration - live from a specially-built hatchery.
Viewers can follow all the action around the clock at channel4.com/eggs
From Monday 25th March, 17 ‘egg streams' will be going live. Follow the eggs 24/7 and catch them at the all-important moment when they hatch. There'll be crocodiles, emus, penguins, spiders, turtles, snakes....every animal featured in the programmes.
And once the animals have hatched, ‘Baby Cam' will stream all the baby animal action live. A team of natural history experts will be working around the clock to provide updates and answer your questions. And join us online straight after the programmes for an after-show chat with our presenters.
Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates on our eggs as they happen twitter.com/eastereggslive - using #eggslive
And Mark and his co-presenters, Jimmy Doherty and amphibian enthusiast, Lucy Cooke, along with a range of animal experts will be answering a huge array of questions about eggs sent in via social media, such as: why are eggs egg-shaped, what are the largest and smallest eggs, how do embryos get out of their eggs, how do they breathe inside their eggs and the old chestnut: what came first, the chicken or the egg...?
Mark Evans said: "Whether it's an emu or a crocodile, when you watch a hatchling fight its way out of its shell you cannot help being left with a profound sense of awe as new life emerges.
"Eggs are so familiar that we're all guilty of taking them for granted. But eggs are highly complex, very cool bits of biological packaging: biology at its best. Hatching...what an incredibly cool way to be born!"
Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Specialist Factual, Sara Ramsden, said: "As well as being a fascinating series of programmes, Easter Eggs Live is a huge technical challenge, based as it is on 17 live streams of hatching eggs! As a mad keen observer of animal behaviour I'm so looking forward to being glued to the live streams of a huge range of animals hatching all week. But there is, of course, a classic TV warning to 'never work with children or animals', which makes this an exciting - but also slightly nerve-wracking - challenge!"
Easter Eggs Live starts on Monday, March 25th with 6 x 3 min live programmes daily at 7.55pm. Two 60-minute live shows air on Sunday, March 31st (Easter Sunday) and Monday, April 1st. Viewers can follow all the hatching and baby animal action around the clock at channel4.com/eggs and twitter.com/eastereggslive