The Golden Globe nominated actor Ewan McGregor narrates new BBC documentary Hebrides: Islands On The Edge starting on Thursday 11 July 2013 on BBC2.
The four part documentary series which has been 3 years in the making, focusses on the local wildlife and their struggle for survival in the Hebrides archipelago. Ewan McGregor narrates the stories of the native wildlife such as seals, otters, sharks and various bird species are tracked as they search for food, breed and raise their young.
Episode 1: 11 July 2013
The first episode follows young swallows, grey seals and otters during the fierce autumnal storms. The creatures battle massive storms and highest tides of the year to survive on the Scottish archipelago, which is dubbed ‘Islands on the Edge’. The programme also witnesses the mass arrival of thousands of swans and geese for the winter, who face danger from the predatory white-tailed eagles who are looking for their next meal. And we see how local stags survive the season on the Hebridean Isle of Rum.
Episode 2: 18 July 2013
The second episode details the most desolate and stark time of year for wildlife: winter. The Hebrides islands are hit with the biggest storm in history followed by one of the harshest springtime in recent memory. Ewan McGregor narrates the tales of short-eared owls, harbour seals, hares and the white-tailed eagles as they battle the elements. The episode moves into spring as the creatures give birth and raise their young under the challenging conditions. Spring takes a new turn with the arrival of massive basking sharks, keen to make their presence felt.
Episode 3: 25 July 2013
This episode follows a pod of pilot whales which have become trapped in a narrow stretch of water and the plight of the tiny puffin chicks who are at risk from the predatory skuas. Summer also arrives on the Uists with the meadows transformed into seasonal spectacle, but drought is never far away.
Episiode 4: 1 August 2013
Its hoped that the series will highlight the sheer beauty of Scotland and encourage visitors to combine their trips to the big cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh with the Hebrides.
Focus on Wild Scotland
The Hebrides: Islands on the Edge programme is part of a wider BBC Scotland season running throughout the spring and summer. Actor and Scotsman Ewan McGregor, along with legendary naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, focus purely on Scotland’s awe inspiring scenery, wild animals and migratory birds. The sheer skill of the cameramen captivates audiences. This series was three years in the making and forms part of the Wild Scotland season.
In addition to the Hebrides – Islands On The Edge programme, there is also a four part documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough, entitled Wild Cameramen At Work. Each episode focusses on a separate element; ice, land, sky and sea. And the live broadcast of Midsummer Live details the solstice and high-summer period where Scotland receives some of the longest daylight periods within Europe. The Hebrides is located on the Gulf Stream which brings milder, dry weather through the summer months.
The Wild Scotland season will also continue into autumn with special shows and programmes both on TV and also on BBC Radio Scotland.
About The Hebrides
Lying off the west coast of Scotland in the inhospitable Atlantic Ocean, the archipelago is divided into the Inner and Outer Hebrides. The Inner Hebrides hugs the Scottish coast and has a milder climate and includes islands such as the biggest by area and population Skye, Islay and Mull. The Outer Hebrides is located in the harsh Atlantic and islands include Lewis and Harris where Stornoway is the largest town, Barra and South and North Uist.
With a diverse and vast landscape, the Hebrides has been inhabited since the Mesolithic period. The island economy is focussed on fishing and farming, as well as tourism. Naturalist, walkers and climbers in particular are drawn to the laidback atmosphere and natural scenery. In total 51 islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides are inhabited from the hundreds that dot the sea.
Born in Perth in Scotland, Ewan McGregor OBE is best known for his stellar acting roles in iconic Hollywood films such as Trainspotting, Star Wars and Moulin Rouge. In total, Ewan has made over 50 films, as well as starring in theatre productions. Ewan has also received an OBE for his charity work with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the Go Campaign, which supports orphans and vulnerable children across the world. His Long Way Round and Long Way Down motorbike crusades through Africa focussed on charity campaigns.
If you miss any episodes of the Hebrides: Islands On The Edge series, you can watch the programmes back on the official BBC site.