Modern Man

I BOUGHT a TV recently. The first one I've ever bought actually. Not that I'm some sort of anti-TV evangelist, it's just that since leaving home (where my parents owned a TV), I've either lived in share houses where someone else had a TV or with a girlfriend/wife who had one. (Not that having a tele or a selection of other domestic appliances was my criteria for moving in with her...)

The last one I had (TV that is, not girlfriend) was actually a hand-me-down from my parents. So I guess I've been a TV freeloader all my life.

Until now.

When the subtitles on the DVDs were getting too small to read (even with my glasses on), I realised it was time to bite the bullet and get rid of the old-school tube TV and get a thoroughly modern flat screen thing with all the bells and whistles.

Unfortunately the programming didn't get any better when the screen got bigger.

We've got more channels now with all the digital and HD channels available (and even a couple of radio stations), but there still seems to be the same selection of cooking and singing wannabes, with a panel of judges ready to vote them off.

But at risk of sounding like a mouthpiece for the ABC's marketing department, I would like to share with you a discovery that my kids and I absolutely love, that has just returned for a new season on ABC3.

It's called Deadly 60 and is produced by the BBC's Natural History Unit. This is the home of the world's best nature documentary makers, but Deadly 60 has completely re-invented the format to make it accessible and exciting for adults and kids alike.

The host Steve Backshall is a cross between Steve Irwin and David Attenborough - it's all action and adventure watching him get to some of the remotest places on Earth, but his knowledge of the animals they are filming is second to none.

He talks to his crew, who are often in shot, and you get to see how they go about making the program within the program itself. The editing and graphics look like they come from an extreme sport video and Steve's enthusiasm is contagious.

The format is simple: to find and film the deadliest animals on the planet. Not just those deadly to humans, but to their prey.

And while sitting in the comfort of our couch, watching our flat screen TV, the kids and I share some quality time and learn an incredible amount about the animals featured in each episode.

It was worth buying our new TV just to watch that show.

I wonder what the other channels are for?

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