Baby love: Channel 5’s new series Animal Maternity adds to slew of cute creature TV

The fly-on-the-wall documentary follows zoos up and down the country as they get ready for their primates to go into labour

If the front-page hysteria stirred up by Edinburgh zoo’s pregnant panda is anything to go by, Channel 5's Animal Maternity is likely to make for popular viewing.

The new fly-on-the-wall documentary series has capitalised on the nation’s love for baby animal photos, filming primates up and down the country in labour.

From the comfort of the sofa, audiences can coo at tiny furry things arriving in the world before they can even open their eyes.

Dens and pens all over Britain have been rigged to the rafters so that viewers can watch a whole zoo-full of exotic animals being born, including a zebra, snow leopard, elephant and white rhino.

At one particularly worrying moment, viewers are also faced with a lemur in need of a caesarean section.

Greg Barnett, commissioning editor for Channel 5, says the show will “underline the serious threat some of our planet’s most adorable creatures are under and the lengths humankind is going to ensure they are protected.”

Raising awareness of endangered species aside, if it's anywhere near as successful as BBC Two's Horizon: The Secret Life of the Cat or ITV's Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Channel 5 will feel like the big cat that's got all the cream.

Animal Maternity airs on Channel 5 at 8pm on Wednesday 18 September