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Catch up with Professor O'Shea's Big Adventure TV series

A screenshot of an Amazon Prime series involving Professor Mark O'Shea

A leading world expert in herpetology at the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Mark O'Shea, is priming a whole new audience now that a television series he made in 1999, O'SHEA'S BIG ADVENTURE, is available for free screening and download on Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ in the UK.

He said: "Before I became Professor of Herpetology at the University of Wolverhampton I had other careers in herpetology, not least 33 years as curator of herpetology at West Midlands Safari Park, and as a television presenter on shows for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Channel 4, ITV and BBC. The show was called O'Shea's Dangerous Reptiles on Channel 4, even though I said a reptile did not have to be big or dangerous to be an "O'Shea species", it just had to have a good story.

"Although I presented documentaries before and after, my biggest contribution to television was O'Shea's Big Adventure which ran to four seasons, filmed over five years 1999 and 2003, and which was screened on Animal Planet, Discovery, and Channel 4 in the UK. We had a golden rule, no set-ups, a common thing in television at the time, but no, all captures were genuine and as they happened, they were NOT choreographed, reshot to make me look better or staged with hired in captive reptiles if we did not find the target species. This meant that in 20% of the OBA films we did not succeed in finding the species the show was supposed to be about, but that is life. As I often say 'success and failure are two sides of the same coin, and to appreciate the one, you have to taste the other'. This is probably an equally good maxim for life.

"At the time Animal Planet said there was no market for DVDs so unfortunately these were never produced, yet over the years I have been asked repeatedly by people from all over the world where my films can be found. There are clips on YouTube, including in my own showreels which also show a broader volume of my work including Extreme Expedition, Safari Park, Inside Out, and the Graham Norton Show but when people have uploaded an entire episode of OBA to YouTube they usually get a take-down notice from Discovery Channel for copyright infringement.

"But last week I learned that the first season of OBA, filmed in USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad, Guyana, Brazil and Argentina back in 1999, (13x 24 minute shows), is now available for free screening and download on Amazon Prime and Apple TV+, at least in the UK, and it is to be hoped that Amazon or Apple will decide to make seasons 2-4 available too."

Over the years Mark has also been interviewed for a number of podcasts and now some of those are available on Apple, Spotify and other streaming services. See below:

A screenshot of Professor Mark O'Shea's podcasts

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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