ANIMAL PLANET WILL WALK A (THOUSAND) MILES IN HIS SHOES: NETWORK TO DOCUMENT RECORD-BREAKING NILE WALK WITH TWO-HOUR SPECIAL
-- Animal Planet Will Follow Explorer Levison Wood's Year-Long Attempt to be the First Person to Walk the Entire Length of the Nile --
(New York, New York, December 19, 2013) - Animal Planet has announced today that it is partnering with UK network Channel 4 to broadcast expedition leader, writer and photographer Levison Wood's year-long challenge to become the first person to successfully walk the entire length of the River Nile. October Films is commissioned to produce the special, WALKING THE NILE (wt), that will air in the U.S. in Winter 2015.
The announcement comes shortly after Levison took the first steps of his 4,250-mile expedition, as he walks to the source of the Nile in the dense forests of Rwanda. The trip is being filmed by Levison himself, with visits at key points from an October Films production crew for a two-hour special to be broadcast on Animal Planet in 2015. Between now and then, fans and followers can check in on every step of Levison's progress on a dedicated website (channel4.com/walkingthenile), Twitter (@WalkingTheNile) and Facebook. The website will host regular updates from Levison including video diaries, photos and blog posts to bring followers closer to the action.
Levison Wood said: "I'm passionate about Africa and want as many people as possible to be able to share my love of the continent, its people and its many varied landscapes. I'm thrilled that Animal Planet will be joining Channel 4 to bring this series to viewers across the world."
Adam Bullmore, executive producer of WALKING THE NILE (wt) said: "As Levison departs, we're delighted that Animal Planet is backing such an ambitious project. WALKING THE NILE will take Animal Planet's viewers into the very heart of Levison's adventure - encountering through his unprecedented challenge the amazing landscapes, unrivalled wildlife and inspiring humanity that is unique to modern Africa."
Levison's journey through Africa will take him through rainforest, desert, savannah and swamp. From its source in the highlands of Rwanda, he will follow the Nile along its course through the jungles of Tanzania and Uganda, skirting Lake Victoria before entering South Sudan - the world's newest country. Levison will cross into Sudan and then traverse the Sahara Desert, around Lake Nasser and into Egypt to the Mediterranean coast for the final steps of his 1000-mile walk. Levison will be met by local guides at points along his route, but apart from the crew's visits, he will not be followed by a support team or a vehicle of any kind.
The trip will test Levison's mental and physical limits as well as his bushcraft skills as he travels with only his backpack through some of Africa's most remote, hostile and spectacular locations. He'll encounter hippos, crocodiles and lions, pass the Mountains of the Moon and cross the Sahara, meet people forging new countries out of the ruins of war and revolution, stand where Stanley met Livingstone and trace the old Arab slave routes, wrestle with the Dinka of South Sudan and stay in Bedouin tents, and meet mercenaries, poachers and missionaries before his final arrival at the Mediterranean.
WALKING THE NILE (wt) will be shown as a two-hour special on Animal Planet and a four-part television series on Channel 4. The project is produced by October Films for Animal Planet; and October Films and GroupM Entertainment for Channel 4. The executive producers are Adam Bullmore for October Films, Melanie Darlaston and Tony Moulsdale for GroupM Entertainment, and Keith Hoffman for Animal Planet. It was developed for Animal Planet by Andy Berg and Kurt Tondorf, and for Channel 4 by commissioning editor John Hay and commissioning editor multiplatform Mark Atkin.
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.