Steve Backshall makes Deadly 60 Down Under live show even more deadly


Steve Backshall.
Steve Backshall.

THERE is never a dull moment in the life of Deadly 60 children’s TV show presenter Steve Backshall.

Even his everyday schedule while doing this interview with Community News sounds out of the ordinary.

“I’m sitting on my houseboat where I live with my wife Helen,” the British naturalist said.

“It’s so cold that I’m wearing my mountaineering down jacket and have a hot water bottle down the back of my trousers.

“I’ve been working on my masters research; later on today I’ll be heading to a friend’s house to milk venom from one of the animals I’m studying.”

This is a change from spending the entire northern hemisphere summer in the Arctic and Alaska, filming polar bears, brown bears, salmon and whales.

So one can only imagine how much Backshall is looking forward to some Aussie sun when he tours Australia this month with live stage show Deadly 60 Down Under.

“We’ve had such a warm welcome the last two years that I just had to come back,” he said.

“It’s clear that there are millions of people Down Under who really love their wildlife and have been so kind to me and the crew.

“The most memorable part of our last trip was being in a cafe in Far North Queensland and hearing screaming from the kitchen – there was a good-sized carpet python crawling over the shelves.

“When they saw me come in and catch it, half the people there clearly thought it was a big set up and that they were being secretly filmed.”

Backshall said this year’s show would be the first time he would appear live on stage with some of Australia’s deadliest animals.

“It’s a very different show; we’ll have loads of stunts, props, audience participation, plus also some live invertebrates,” he said.

“It’s going to feel like much more of a stage experience, with lots more that can go wrong.

“Deadly is not a scientific term and is not synonymous with dangerous. Deadly means lethal in its world to other animals and in that context, every contender is equally fascinating, from a tick to a whale.”

He has plenty of things planned for his Australian visit.

“The best adventures are the ones you make up at the last minute,” Backshall said.

“We’ll be kayaking amongst seals and dolphins, doing a bit of diving, and certainly some wandering out in the bush looking for critters, because that’s my favourite thing in the world to do.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Deadly 60 Down Under

Where: Riverside Theatre

When: January 27

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au