Just back from Brunei, northern Borneo

This was a recce for a possible expedition - but also a great chance to see the forests - still almost as pristine as 30 odd years ago, when I was dropped there by helicopter as an undergraduate. The Natural History Museum in Kensington (London) then asked me to collect any specimens I could - because then the remote southern ridge was unexplored. I was so taken by the gibbons each dawn, the hornbills and the rest that I forgot - til the last day. I hurriedly shuved what insects I could into a bottle - and later heard I'd found seven unknown species of fig wasp, one now named after me. Exciting to be back after so long, then - and always the tantalising thought of so many more unknown species being out there. These might include seven fig trees - because each fig wasp pollenates a different species of fig tree...

Brunei photo Brunei photo 2


The British : Sky Atlantic

I'm appearing alongside various others - eg actors Jeremy Irons & Helen Mirren in the new series The British, a history series which premieres on Sky Atlantic on 6th September (2012). "Lots of great drama and CGI," I'm told. I'm not sure exactly which contributions of mine have been included - apparently my pieces on Capt Cook went down rather well, as least with the producers!

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