To be honest, I’m not a big fan of my kids watching TV, especially before bed. But there is a certain British accent that my kids absolutely adore and I have to admit, its become a family favourite in our house. Some of the animals he comes into contact with sometimes make me want to choke on my dinner.
And I do get a chill whenever my sons yell, “Mum come look at this!”, as more often than not it’s a spider or some other creepy crawly that they have found and they want to give it a deadly rating. Once I was even woken from an afternoon nap with a spider in a jar so close to my face that I thought it was on me! The joys of raising kids fascinated with nature. Needless to say when I found out that Steve and his Deadly 60 crew were coming to North Queensland, we just had to get to know him better.
Steve has been passionate about the animals of the world ever since he could crawl. His show Deadly 60 is on ABC for Kids and captivates children from all over the globe.
He has circumnavigated the globe time and again, wrangling snakes, swimming with sharks, and getting up close and personal with all of the deadliest animals in the world. And now he is getting up close and personal with children from all around Australia with his Deadly 60 Live show happening all around Australia this January. I don’t know what I would be more scared of personally!
Introducing legend, Mr Steve Backshall
BREE: Steve, if you could choose to be any animal in the world, what would it be and why?
STEVE: “I would definitely be a Bird of Prey. Something like a Bearded Vulture soaring over the Himalayas, covering hundreds of miles every single day. Mind you, I’d probably not choose to feed on bone marrow (Bearded Vultures carry bones up high and drop them onto rocks to break them open).”
BREE: As a child what did you want to do and be when you grew up?
STEVE: “I wanted to be a ranger in an African wildlife reserve. I’d been on safari, and the guides seemed to know everything about wildlife, I totally idolised them and knew that what I wanted to do was work with animals!”
BREE: What is something about you that would surprise the mums, dads and kids of Australia?
STEVE: “Errrrm, I don’t know. That I have a black belt in Judo? That I recently married an Olympic gold medalist? That I once got frostbite and couldn’t feel my toes for a year!”
BREE: If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?
STEVE: “I love living in the UK, but have also been lucky enough to live in Oz for a bit too, and it’s a great country. I could certainly live somewhere like Tassie; the wildlife there is off the hook!”
BREE: What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
STEVE: “Exactly the same things as I do for my job! I go out kayaking or climbing, or perhaps take the binoculars and go birdwatching, or looking for lizards.”
BREE: If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could wish for three things what would they be and why?
STEVE: “Number one would be a machete ‘cause that is my number one survival tool. Then a flint for lighting fires and a fishing kit. If I had those three things, life would be pretty sweet!”
BREE: If you could change the world in one way, what would it be?
STEVE: “I would take some of the world’s most powerful people out and show them the world how I see it everyday. Show them a planet of extraordinary beauty that we are simply killing. Try and convince them that there are more important things than economics…”
BREE: For children who want to work with animals what is your advice?
STEVE: “Get started early! Volunteer for your local wildlife refuge, set up your own initiatives, learn as much as you can about the wild world, and GET STUCK IN. I promise it will give you the best life ever!”
BREE: What is your greatest achievement to date?
STEVE: “We did a live version of Deadly 60 in the UK, and travelled around the nation to twenty different cities, giving free shows about wildlife. On the biggest single day, I spoke to 14,000 people about the need for nature in our lives. At the end, we’d spoken to several hundred thousand young people and knew it had genuinely changed lives. That was something we were all really proud of.”
BREE: What has been your biggest challenge?
STEVE: “I would say the expedition to try and climb Mount Amauri in Venezuela. We had terrible quality rock, storms, rockfall and tumbles, and were lucky to escape with our lives”.