Animal Odd Couples, BBC1 - TV Review


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The Independent Culture

Would you be interested in meeting the orang-utan who takes his pet dog for daily walks? Would you find the sight of a duckling nuzzling at the teat of a cat almost unbearably adorable? And how about the kudu who fell in love with a giraffe? Cute overload, or what?

If this kind of thing appeals, you already have an internet full of material catering to your needs and now there's Animal Odd Couples too. It's no surprise that this YouTube-aping nature documentary got made, but how did they manage to stretch content usually found in a 30-second clip over two, hour-long programmes?

Enter Liz Bonnin, a former Top of the Pops presenter with some impressive qualifications. According to Wikipedia, Liz has a master's in wild animal biology from the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. She's not one to boast of her accomplishments, but you can tell from the way she intersperses cutsie cuddle-time with hifalutin talk of "cross-species bonds" that she knows her stuff.

How much of this was hard science and how much just anthropomorphic schmaltz is open to debate, but I remain astonished by the footage. Not one of these unlikely pairings has, as yet, tried to eat the other for dinner.