Nature's Weirdest Events, BBC2 - TV review

The Springwatch presenter was at his most inspiring when striding through the countryside

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The Independent Culture

Nature's Weirdest Events, back for a fourth series on BBC2, doesn't need a big budget to make its point, either. Each section in this naturalist's answer to The X Files is inspired by footage taken by a member of the public and uploaded to the internet. It's the job of presenter Chris Packham find an explanation for these unusual happenings. Can pigs really swim? What's up with those disco-dancing stoats? And how did thousands of fish come to take up residence in the ruins of a burnt-out Bangkok shopping centre?

As ever, some stories seemed very weird, while others, like the New Yorker who discovered eating red meat made him ill after a lifetime of gobbling down burgers and meatballs, were easily explicable. What was most impressive was the cumulative effect of all these oddities explored side by side. As Packham said: "The resilience of life to survive and thrive in such weird ways is truly something to behold."

It was only a shame that he said this while cooped up indoors, in a television studio. The specimens in glass jars and carefully preserved beetles in wooden cabinets were all very decorative, but the Springwatch presenter was at his most inspiring when striding through the countryside. Living things should be allowed to freely roam their natural habitats.

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