DOUG Allan once had a run-in with a Walrus. It grabbed him from behind and wrapped its flippers around his thighs.

Doug said: “It was a complete surprise – it grabbed me and I pushed him with my camera. I don’t think I would be alive if I hadn’t reacted quickly.

“A lot of animals rely on the element of surprise to attack but if you have the chance to establish eye contact with them, then that surprise is lost. You have to keep your wits about you when you’re in the company of polar bears, that’s why we always have bear spray to hand, or the snowmobile close by to escape. The animals’ behaviour can change too, and that can be a sign they maybe want you to back off for a while.”

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Luckily for us, Doug was fortunate enough to escape and lives to tell his tales about filming all sorts of wild life during his career as a cameraman. He’ll be telling his stories during his new tour – Doug Allan: Wild Images, Wild Life.

Doug Allan is a multi-award-winning cameraman with five Bafta and eight Emmy Awards. He has worked on Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Brian Cox’s Forces of Nature.

As a child, Doug began snorkelling and diving while at school. He studied Marine Biology at university, but decided he’d rather follow expeditions than pure science.

In 1981 the BBC had a place for a film crew on the Royal Navy’s HMS Endurance, to film in the Antarctic for David Attenborough’s second mega series Living Planet. David was on the ship, which had scheduled a visit to the island where Doug was working as a scientist and diver. Doug took him and his crew to locations where they would get the best views of the wildlife.

Doug reckoned the cameraman filming with David had the perfect job that involved all of his passions. He asked David and the others for advice.

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Doug said: “It was just one fascination on top of another that led me to where I am now.

“Working on TV series like Blue Planet was amazing. Shows like this are very high end, they have good budgets and that means the camera crews can to try things that few others would ever experience.

“Face to face with mammals is amazing, and I vividly remember encounters with Humpback Whales. There was one female we could always recognise from the black and white pattern on the underside of her tail. In the beginning she was a little wary, but after a week or so she was super friendly and came real close. Lovely, wonderful experiences.”

Working with the natural world is Doug’s greatest pleasure.

Doug added: “I think everyone has this deep connection with the natural world but few get the chance nowadays to appreciate it – we spend too much time in an artificial urban world.

“If we all felt part of nature rather than divorced from it, I’m sure we wouldn’t have so many environmental problems. That’s why I encourage everyone to go out, rediscover nature and learn how much we depend on nature’s clean air and water.”

To see Doug on tour at The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil on September 21 then visit or call 01935 422884.