Welcome to the official Steve Backshall website

Picture: Adam White

Picture: Adam White

Steve has been passionate about the wild world ever since he could crawl. Growing up, he counted the animals that lived around him as his best pals – from the asthmatic donkey to the grass snakes in the manure heap!

After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English and Theatre Studies, Steve studied martial arts in Japan attaining his black belt. Over the following years Steve wrote for the Indonesian Rough Guides and during his travels became conversant in the local language, drank blood with uncontacted tribes, nearly got caught in fatal crossfire in riots in East Timor, came nose to nose with Komodo Dragons and attempted to walk solo across Irian Jaya (a woeful failure)!

Armed with an idea for a television series, Steve headed out to Colombia. Whilst living in the jungle he wrangled snakes and ended up in a Colombian jail (through no fault of his own)! National Geographic Channel International bought the resultant video and Steve was taken on as ‘Adventurer in Residence’, producing, filming and presenting adventure and natural history programmes. Steve has circumnavigated the globe time and again, venturing into the Sinai desert , completing the Israeli paratroopers selection course, catching anacondas, vipers and cobras and (perhaps the best job ever) making “The Ten Great Dives of the World”, for the long-running series ‘Earthpulse’.


Latest news


Picture: Adam White

Picture: Adam White

Steve's TV work

Steve is one of the busiest presenters on television, mainly working for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. He has had his own season of programmes on Eden television channel alongside legends David Attenborough and Bruce Parry. Before that, he was ‘Adventurer in Residence’ at the National Geographic Channel.

In 2003, Steve moved to the BBC’s Natural History Unit, where he took his place on the long running children’s wildlife programme ‘The Really Wild Show’. The following three years were awash with wildlife highlights; sharing a beach with 75,000 nesting olive ridley turtles, having a baby mountain gorilla take him by the hand and having a red-eyed tree frog leap into his face.

Next, Steve joined the Natural History Unit’s fledgling expedition team, making the first ascent of a jungle peak and dropping into a vast sinkhole in the Mulu mountains in ‘Expedition Borneo’. In ‘Lost Land of the Jaguar’ he made the first ascent of Mount Upuigma in Venezuela, slept on the vertical cliff face and found unknown species of animals on the summit. He also abseiled to the bottom of the Kaiteur Falls in Guyana to the soaked wonderland below.

In ‘Lost Land of the Volcano’, Steve was the first outsider to enter the Volcano Mount Bosavi – where the team discovered as many as 40 new species, including the largest rat in the world! Steve also took part in a brutal caving expedition opening up new passage in Mageni Cave in New Britain.

Other series included ‘Expedition Alaska’, where he was almost swallowed by humpback whales and was swept into the guts of a glacier, ‘Wilderness St Kilda’, ‘Extreme Britain – Caves’, ‘Springwatch Trackers’ and Nature Reports for the One Show. And if that wasn't enough, in ‘The Venom Hunter’ he endured the stings of hundreds of bullet ants (the world’s most painful stinging invertebrate) in an initiation ceremony.

Deadly 60

Big blue live

Big Blue Live – Steve's most recent filming trip took him to Monterey Bay in California.

expeditions

Mount Asgard Baffin Island – "What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy, that is what life means and what life is for."

Swimming With A Great White Shark

Swimming With Monsters – If you want to swim with sharks and no cage, it's safest not to chum the water.

Greg's Deadly Animal Challenge

Steve scares Greg James of Radio 1 fame, by blindfolding and making him hold some of his deadly 'friends'!

World's biggest ant

Deadly 60 – Deep in the Panama jungle, a nervous Steve allows a fearsome bullet ant to crawl over his hand.

Flying With An Egyptian Vulture

Deadly 60 – Steve takes to the skies with Kevin, a rescued Egyptain vulture, to get a bird's eye view.

Expedition Guyana

Climbing a table-top mountain in Expedition Guyana – the first humans to reach the summit.

Steve fronts the BBC kids' series Deadly 60, travelling the world to learn about the most inspiring predators. 

Awesome King Cobra

Deadly 60 – In Thailand, Steve comes face to face with the longest venomous snake in the world, the King Cobra whose bite could kill an elephant.

Expedition Guyana

Lost Land Of The Jaguar – Five times the size of Niagara, Steve abseils to the base of Kaieteur Falls.

Grizzly Bear Cubs Practise Fishing

Deadly 60 – Steve watches as a grizzly bear mother takes her two cubs salmon fishing for the first time.

Wildlife Documentary Society

The start of Steve's wildlife filming early in his career and his take on wildlife films that are made today.

Secret Wilderness Japan

Secret Wilderness Japan – exploring the stunning, yet little known wilder side of Japan.

BBC Knowledge

BBC Knowledge Interview Steve talks about his historical hero Alfred Russel Wallace.

2015

Big Blue Live

Would I Lie To You

Nature's Greatest Dancers

Countdown

Comic Relief: Operation Health

2014

Deadly On A Mission: Pole To Pole

Personal Expedition: Mount Asgard

Strictly Come Dancing

2013

Deadly Pole To Pole

Super Giant Animals

Swimming With Monsters

2012

Deadly Pole To Pole

2011

Deadly 60 III

Live & Deadly

2010

Deadly 60 II

Natural Born Hunters

Lost Land Of The Tigers

Live & Deadly

2009

Deadly 60

Lost Land Of The Volcano

2008

Lost Land Of The Jaguar

The One Show – Natural

Britain's Lost World

Outdoor Britain Extreme Caving

Spring Watch Trackers

Secret Wilderness Japan

Expedition Alaska

Venom Hunter

Inside Out

2007

Inside Out

Nature Of Britain

Expedition Borneo

The Really Wild Show

Inside – King Cobra


Outside of television

Picture: Keith Partridge

Picture: Keith Partridge

Outside television, Steve started studying for his biology degree in 2000 with the Open University, attained his diploma in Natural Sciences and has completed one of his finals courses, though is struggling to find time to complete the degree! He has published several books, Venom, Deadly 60, The Wildlife Adventurer’s Guide, and Looking For Adventure. His fiction novel, Tiger Wars was the first in a series of four adventure stories, which was published in May 2012. He has also completed a 23 date UK tour throughout June and July 2012 promoting 'Tiger Wars'. Steve's 2015 Wild World Tour begins in November.

Steve has completed many endurance events; finished in the top third of the field in the Marathon Des Sables, the top ten of UK’s Tough Guy, 5th in the Welsh 1000m peaks marathon and completed the Devizes to Westminster kayak race. Steve’s outdoor sports CV includes having climbed the sixth highest mountain in the world (Cho Oyu 8201m) as well as many other ascents around the globe. He is absolutely passionate about rock and ice climbing and all disciplines of kayaking and cycling.

Events

Radio


Steve's books

Steve’s first love was writing. He began his career began working for the Rough Guides and freelance travel writing for publications including The Independent and The Times.