Blue Planet II is so popular it slowed down the internet in China

'I've been crying all the time... it's just so beautiful,' one viewer wrote

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 13 November 2017 08:55 GMT
Sharks attack submarine during filming for Blue Planet II

The popularity of BBC One's Blue Planet II knows no limits - or geographical borders, apparently.

The Sunday Times has reported the nature doc has attracted around 80 million viewers in China alone, thanks to viewers on the Tencent Video channel; a boost so large, it temporarily slowed down the country's internet, due to a rush of people attempting to download it.

It proved a sure hit on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, too, with Beijing film blogger Muhou Jun, with a following of four million, writing: "I watched with my mouth hanging open. Blue Planet contains a profound humanistic appeal to protect our environment."

Fankucha Zhendi, also from Beijing, with a following of 1.4 million followers, wrote: "I've been crying all the time... it's just so beautiful."

Kelvin Yau, BBC Worldwide's manager for China, ascribed some of the show's success to the fact it was attracting families gathering to watch the show together. "With the fast growth of cities," he added. "Many Chinese, especially younger generations, want to reconnect with the natural world."

China certainly isn't alone in its love of the show; Blue Planet II swooped in to steal the crown left vulnerable by The Great British Bake Off's move to Channel 4, becoming 2017's most-watched programme.

Including catch-up on BBC iPlayer, the first episode of the wildlife series sequel has been seen by 14.1 million viewers since debuting on 29 October. That phenomenal figure also saw the episode become the third most-watched programme of the last five years, behind only last year’s Bake Off finale and the 2014 football World Cup final.

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