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Off The Fence taps field biologist and filmmaker Dan O’Neill for wildlife copros

Dan O’Neill is a renowned field biologist, wildlife filmmaker and TV presenter

Factual producer and distributor Off The Fence (OTF) is working on multiple coproductions fronted by field biologist, wildlife filmmaker and TV presenter Dan O’Neill.

A rising star in the natural history genre, O’Neill will present Wild Talk (5×50′), a coproduction between OTF, its parent company ZDF Studios and European broadcaster Arte.

The series explores the rapidly evolving science of animal communication and reveals that many species are just as talkative as human beings.

It sees leading scientists decode complex animal communication systems with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), next-generation sensors and recording technology.

O’Neill, who is the first openly gay wildlife presenter on UK television, has also been signed to present other forthcoming OTF series, including Zombie Animals (2×60′).

Made by OTF Studios and National Geographic International, the two-part documentary is set to air on Nat Geo Wild in the run-up to Halloween and examines the gruesome world of animal hosts and the alien parasites, viruses and freaky fungi that cause their unfortunate victims to act like zombies.

Two other O’Neill-fronted projects are also in OTF’s production pipeline: Snow Leopards with Dan O’Neill (2×50′) and a second season of Nature’s Ultimate Survivors (5×60′).

Coproduced by OTF and wildlife and nature brand Love Nature, Snow Leopards follows O’Neill on an extreme conversation mission to two remote locations: Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains and the Tost mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert.

Nature’s Ultimate Survivors, meanwhile, combines natural-history footage with the latest science to explore the astonishing abilities that creatures have evolved in order to survive.

The first season has been picked up by broadcasters across Europe, including France’s Ushuaia, Xumo in the US, Viasat World, Sky Germany and ZDF 3sat.

The show come after O’Neill previously fronted Giants, coproduced by OTF for Curiosity Stream, which premiered in May 2023.

Andrew Zikking, MD of OTF Productions, said: “Over the years, we’ve learned that a successful coproduction is a craft in itself, not just in terms of the tricky art of creative collaboration, but also in knowing how to pick the right partner for the right project for the right client and audience.

“It’s deeply gratifying that such natural-history power players as Arte, National Geographic and Love Nature have committed to work with us on these exciting new projects. And, as a company that prioritises discovering and celebrating fresh and diverse talent, it’s a real coup that the peerless — and fearless — Dan O’Neill has agreed to front three more premium OTF productions.”

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