Not only did Blue Planet II strike a chord with many ocean lovers and divers, its initial launch episode was watched by a staggering 14.1 million people.
And now the BBC natural history series has been handed the special Impact Award at the National Television Awards for its role in raising awareness about harmful plastic pollution that is impacting the world’s oceans and killing marine life.
David Attenborough, the 91-year-old narrator of the series, collected the award at the ceremony which took place on Tuesday 23 January at the O2 Arena.
Four years in the making, the show took the Blue Planet II team on 125 expeditions, to 39 countries, and filmed on every continent and across every ocean. They used breakthroughs in marine science and cutting-edge technology to explore new worlds and reveal the latest discoveries. The crews spent over 6,000 hours diving underwater.
One of the most moving moments of the series included footage of a pilot whale carrying her dead newborn calf around for days, which is thought to have been poisoned by her own contaminated milk caused by industrial pollution and plastic.
Broadcast in 2001, the multi-award winning original Blue Planet show peaked at 12 million viewers. The ratings of Blue Planet II are the highest ever recorded for a nature show and it was the UK’s most watched TV show of 2017.