TELEVISION / BRIEFING: In the company of wolves

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It was only a matter of time before the new ITV came up with the idea of the celebrity wildlife show (coming soon: Sir Anthony Hopkins frolics with big cats in Africa). Fortunately, Timothy Dalton is no 'save the whale' dilettante. In his quest to come 'face to face' with a wolf IN THE WILD (9pm ITV), he camps out in the Arctic Circle for several days in sub-zero temperatures - and there's not a Winnebago in sight. Despite the over-the-top actorly relish with which he delivers the narration, Dalton does seem to have a genuine passion for these much-maligned creatures. The actor contends that because of satanic medieval iconography and some cases of rabies, the wolf has suffered a bad press. A healthy wolf has never been known to have killed a human in America. Trekking 10,000 miles and emitting enough imitation howls to fill The Late Show opening titles into the next century, Dalton finally encounters a friendly pack in the High Arctic. The only drawback is that, because of his 'Bond - James Bond' associations, every time Dalton is seen driving a snow- buggy or sledge you expect some baddie in a ski-mask and black polo-neck to leap out from behind the nearest fir-tree and wrestle him off it.

(Photograph omitted)