Back in 2019, which almost seems a lifetime ago, I had the honour of working with a hero of mine – Ray Mears – and his team as part of a new series on China’s wild places. Entitled “Wild China with Ray Mears”, the seven-episode ITV series chronicles his journey across this vast and diverse country, exploring some of its special wildernesses.
The previous year, two of his researchers contacted me when they were scouting for locations. They were keen to visit the Valley of the Cats, the location of the community-based wildlife watching tourism project. I arranged for them to stay with a local family in one of the most spectacular locations and met them there on arrival. The idea was that we would have two days to explore potential filming opportunities and locations. The following morning, the local ShanShui staff and I drove to meet them at their homestay and there was quite a commotion. Several members of the family were chatting loudly and gesturing towards one of the rooms of their house which looked as if a bomb had hit it. The two researchers had been woken with a bang at 1am when the family started banging pots and pans, and were startled to learn that a brown bear had broken into the room adjacent to their sleeping quarters! Huge paw prints around the house and some muddy prints on the walls betrayed the bear’s shenanigans.
Unfazed by their experience, the first thing the researchers said to me when I arrived was “ok, we know already this is a good place for Ray!”
I won’t reveal how Ray fared in the Valley, except to say that this episode is not to be missed.
The series will be broadcast on ITV in the UK this summer, beginning with episode 1 from a very cold Beijing on Tuesday 13 July from 1930-2000. With visits to the country’s tropical rainforest, the bamboo forest home of giant pandas, bat caves in karst landscapes as well as the Tibetan Plateau, this series is a must-watch for anyone with an interest in China and its wild places.
6 thoughts on ““Wild China with Ray Mears” to be broadcast on ITV this summer”
The series sounds spectacular Terry, not to be missed indeed. I’ll look into when and where we can see it in Canada and the USA.,
Hello Jane. I’m not sure of accessibility in North America. I will ask the production company and let you know!
Looking forward to this Terry and also would love to know times here in Canada. Maybe it will be on YouTube or on demand on some other platform after it airs? Excellent stuff and yes, bear encounters always make trips better.
Thanks Tom. I’ll do my best to find out if it will be available in North America. You will certainly love the series!
Is it available for viewing in the US?
Hello Edna. I’ll do my best to find out.. and let you know. I am sure you will love the series, having spent much time in China (and probably visited some of the places showcased).