DEADLIEST SNAKES WITH NIGEL MARVEN to air on Animal Planet from October 5, Monday to Friday at 9 pm


India is home to over 300 species of snakes, with more than 50 venomous varieties.  In Animal Planet’s upcoming series DEADLIEST SNAKES WITH NIGEL MARVEN, eminent naturalist and wildlife adventurer Nigel Marven visits India for his pick of ten deadliest snakes in the country.

Premiering October 5, DEADLIEST SNAKES WITH NIGEL MARVEN will air Monday to Friday at 9 pm on Animal Planet.  In a new season of action-packed snake adventures, Nigel continues his quest to uncover deadly serpents, exploring India, Malaysia, Australia, Europe and more. Nigel will be seen tackling some of the world’s most lethal snakes and exploring some of the most incredible and dangerous species of the world. He joins serpent hunters, venom scientists and snake fanatics, uncovers fascinating facts and behaviours, and meets a supporting cast of other amazing creatures.

From Tamil Nadu to Andaman Island, and across Western Ghats, Nigel travels length and breadth of India for his countdown of ten deadliest snakes in India.  He comes face-to-face with some of the most lethal snakes including yellow-lipped sea krait, king cobra and the Russell’s viper.  He tracks Indian rock python (ajgar), one of the largest and longest snakes in India, which can grow up to 6 meters and can weigh 90 kilos. He also explains how Russell’s viper has the loudest hiss of any snake in the world.

On the trail of his top ten, Nigel visits Southeast Asian country Malaysia, home to over 170 species of snakes, around 40 of which are venomous.  Nigel meets worshippers and vipers at Penang’s famous Snake Temple, takes a boat trip through the mangrove swamps of Langkawi, and even visits a hospital.  Next in his journey is Australia, renowned for its deadly flora and fauna, and its many venomous snakes. It includes the fierce snake, the most toxic serpent in the world, and the enormous king brown, which can deliver more venom in a single bite than any other snake. With the help of reptile experts and scientists, Nigel travels from the Sandstone Mountains of New South Wales to the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland to track down his top ten. He even meets Steve Irwin’s son Robert, who takes him hunting for snakes in his favourite billabong.

Nigel Marven is a British naturalist and wildlife television presenter, producer and author. Known for his daring presenting style, Nigel is seen tackling some of the world’s most dangerous animals in his fast-paced programmes.

ABOUT NIGEL MARVEN – Filmmaker, Author, Presenter

Present Day – Nigel lives in South Africa, close to the Garden Route near Knysna. His garden has boomslang snakes and puff adders in the grass, with Knysna louries in the trees. A caracal cat visits occasionally, and every evening a wood owl hunts for moths attracted by the verandah lamps.

The Early Days – Born in 1960, Nigel Marven showed early promise as a budding naturalist. He was running a hamster colony at age eight and racing stick insects along his mother’s clothes line by the time he was nine. In his early teens, Nigel had graduated to larger creatures, keeping a caiman, magpie and boa constrictors in his parents’ house. He even saved a freshwater eel from being jellied, housing it in the bathtub. When anyone needed a soak, the slippery creature was put in a bucket.

Family holidays in the Mediterranean became zoological expeditions, as young Nigel scampered over the countryside, pillowcase in hand, catching snakes and lizards for study and then release.

Once his school studies were over, Nigel took a year-out travelling throughout America, where he met hellbenders and amphiumas in the wild (both are kinds of salamanders). Returning to the UK, he moved to Bristol to read Botany and Zoology at university. This would prove to be the ideal place for him, because firstly he could pursue his interest in the natural world at an academic level, and secondly, Bristol is the world capital of wildlife filmmaking.

Breaking into Television – Whilst he was researching for an MSc on the grazing interactions between limpets and diatoms (microscopic algae), Nigel got his first break in television. A BBC programme called Galactic Garden needed someone to wrangle worms in front of the camera. Working in BBC Bristol’s macro studio, Nigel learned the grammar of film-making from cameraman Alan Hayward.

Nigel’s first full-time television job was as a Researcher on David Attenborough’s First Eden series about the Mediterranean region. This was a dream come true because David had always been a BBC hero of Nigel’s. He recalls:  ‘The first time I met him, I said ‘Hello, I’m Nigel Marven the Researcher’, he replied ‘Hello, I’m David Attenborough’ as if I didn’t know, what a self-effacing man!’

Because of Nigel’s experience with Mediterranean wildlife, the BBC Drama Department in London asked him to be an Assistant Producer on a ten-part serialisation based on Gerald Durrell’s book My Family and Other Animals. This was a second dream come true for Nigel, My Family and Other Animals was his favourite book, and he got to meet Gerald and his wife Lee when they visited the set. Filming took place over five months on the Greek island of Corfu.

Nigel directed the famous fight scene between Geronimo the gecko and a praying mantis. He also oversaw magpie and barn owl flight sequences, plus many other animals including Madame Cyclops, the one-eyed tortoise.

Presenter – Nigel continued to work at the BBC for well over a decade, in this time producing many primetime wildlife films including Incredible Journeys and Life of Birds. He eventually left to join Granada Television, where he continued to produce cutting-edge wildlife films but also found a new role in front of the camera. Five years later, Nigel is now running his own production company, Image Impact, and making films that are screened all over the world.

Some of Nigel’s shows on Animal Planet 

Ten Deadliest Snakes – Nigel counts down his list of the top ten deadliest snakes in very different parts of the world.

Untamed China – Explores China’s wild landscapes to uncover the fascinating and little-known creatures that live there.

Penguin Safari – He gets up close and personal with the penguins of South Georgia.

Ugly Animals – He discovers the beauty of creatures you might regard as ugly.

Piranhas With Nigel Marven – He investigates whether these fish deserve their bloodthirsty reputation.

Giant Pythons With Nigel Marven – Nigel heads to Florida where tens of thousands of Burmese pythons are invading the state. He investigates their killing potential and tries to track down a nest in the wild.

About Animal Planet

Animal Planet is the world’s only brand that immerses viewers in emotional, engaging and passionate content devoted to animals –from wildlife to pets. Animal Planet connects humans and animals with rich, deep content and offers animal lovers access to entertainment, information and enrichment. Animal Planet launched in Asia Pacific in 1998 and is currently distributed to 183 million subscribers in the region.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity, engaging and entertaining viewers with high-quality content on worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Science, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Discovery also controls Eurosport International, a premier sports entertainment group, including six pay-TV network brands across Europe and Asia Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. In Asia Pacific, 15 Discovery brands reach 669 million cumulative subscribers in 38 countries and territories with programming customized in 15 languages and dialects.