Review: Gordon Buchanan, Lost Adventures, Ipswich Corn Exchange

At the very heart of what Gordon Buchanan does is borne out of a respect for the animal, a love of t

At the very heart of what Gordon Buchanan does is borne out of a respect for the animal, a love of them, a desire to share their stories without crossing any lines that would have an adverse impact on their life. - Credit: Archant

A wildlife cameraman might be sheepish about stepping out into the limelight, but apart from his fleece-like locks, Gordon Buchanan was anything but.

The acclaimed presenter and wildlife cameraman entertained an enthralled Ipswich Corn Exchange

The acclaimed presenter and wildlife cameraman entertained an enthralled Ipswich Corn Exchange - Credit: Archant

Relaxed in a red-checked shirt and casual jeans, the 43-year-old enthralled a packed auditorium with witty tales and stunning video and pictures from 25 years in the “best job in the world”.

In his lucid Scottish lilt, he was enthusiastic, but humble, admitting he was very lucky and privileged to be paid for globetrotting expeditions. The only continent he hasn’t been to is Antarctica.

His lean figure is due to heaving up to 60 bags of equipment along rivers, through dense jungle and up snow-covered mountains. He says you certainly wouldn’t want to be behind him at a check-in desk.

Buchanan is best known for filming big cats, so it was a nice surprise for some, and a disappointment for others, that the first forty minutes featured many insects and spiders.


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But he is fascinated by all creatures great and small. He says in the tropics “it’s the small things you have to worry about” citing the world’s deadliest creature, the malaria-carrying mosquito, and how leeches could turn the crew’s camp into a bloodbath.

Although this was a light-hearted show, Buchanan didn’t skirt around environmental issues. When talking about Borneo he showed the plantations that have robbed orangutans of their forest homes. The oil from these palms is a cheap filler in about half of all groceries, and Buchanan urged the audience to check labels and only buy if the palm oil used is from a sustainable source.

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During Q&A sessions Buchanan revealed that he would not leave home without coffee and whisky, but could not choose between them. He also advised those wanting to a similar career just to get out there and start filming.

But his most poignant message of the evening was: “We can learn so much from animals, but it seems all we teach them is to keep away from us.”

Wise words from a worldly-wise man.

Read entertainment writer Wayne Savage’s interview with Buchanan here.

ANDY HOLLIS

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