BBC slam ‘totally inaccurate’ claim David Attenborough episode was cut

Watch the trailer for David Attenborough’s Wild Isles

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The five-part series titled Wild Isles sees 97-year-old David Attenborough explore the beauty of British wildlife. However, it’s been reported the BBC pulled a sixth episode to avoid potential criticism from Conservative MPs and the right-wing press.

On Sunday night, the first instalment of David Attenborough’s new five-part series will air on the BBC.

During the episode, viewers will get to see the 97-year-old examine the benefits of Britain’s natural geology along with ways in which depleted islands can be restored for the future.

However, on Friday it was reported an extra sixth episode of the series had been axed from the BBC’s schedule to avoid the risk of potential backlash.

The bonus segment, which was believed to only be available on BBC iPlayer, had been set to focus on the destruction of wildlife in the UK according to The Guardian.

It’s believed the decision to axe the episode from airing was down to fear of backlash from Conservative politicians and the right-wing press, which has angered the programme-makers.

However, the BBC has since slammed the speculation and insisted a sixth episode never existed.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster told “Wild Isles is – and always was – a five-part series and does not shy away from environmental content.

‘We have acquired a separate film for iPlayer from the RSPB and WWF and Silverback Films about people working to preserve and restore the biodiversity of the British Isles.

The separate British Isles film is set to explore the concept of rewilding, which looks to restore an area back to its natural state and create conditions for nature to thrive.

However, rewilding is known to be a controversial topic with some right-wing supporters.

Although the director of Silverback Films and the executive producer of Wild Isles Alastair Fothergill revealed the Saving Our Wild Isles feature was acquired by the BBC for iPlayer only.

He told The Guardian: “The BBC commissioned a five-part Wild Isles series from us at Silverback Films back in 2017.

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“The RSPB and WWF joined us as co-production partners in 2018.

“It was not until the end of 2021 that the two charities commissioned Silverback Films to make a film for them that celebrates the extraordinary work of people fighting to restore nature in Britain and Ireland.

“The BBC acquired this film for iPlayer at the start of this year.”

The complementary film is believed to air after David Attenborough’s five episodes have been released with the first airing on March 12.

A synopsis for Wild Isles’ first instalment called Our Precious Isles reads: “David Attenborough explores British woodland, grassland, freshwater and ocean habitats.

“Revealing the surprising and dramatic wildlife that exists right on the doorstep, the existence of which is critical for the survival of species right across the globe.

“The first episode examines the benefits of Britain’s natural geology and examines ways in which depleted islands can be restored for future generations.”

Wild Isles continues Sunday on BBC One from 7pm

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