Sussex student’s bid to become the next David Attenborough

The next David Attenborough? Bee expert Gigi Hennesy entered the BBC Earth Presenter Search 2018
The next David Attenborough? Bee expert Gigi Hennesy entered the BBC Earth Presenter Search 2018

A University of Sussex student is creating quite a buzz with her bid to become the next Sir David Attenborough.

Gigi Hennesy, 24, a PhD student at the University of Sussex, has entered the BBC Earth Presenter Search 2018 with a video explaining what’s so great about bees, filmed in her local supermarket and Brighton’s Preston Park.

Bee expert Gigi Hennesy

Bee expert Gigi Hennesy

She said: “People think they know a lot about bees but then they can be really surprised when you tell them all about the different species that there are in the UK and all their different behaviours.”

The winner of the competition will be given the opportunity to film whales in the Arctic and front a four-part Youtube series.

Gigi said: “It’s really important that scientists don’t just hide away in our labs or offices.”

She continued: “Look at the impact of Planet Earth II on the issue of plastic in our oceans.

Sussex student Gigi Hennesy

Sussex student Gigi Hennesy

“It was backed up by research but because television has such a huge reach, it has been able to bring about significant change in a very short amount of time.”

Gigi revealed her admiration of national treasure Sir David Attenborough, and the impact he had over her chosen area of study.

She said: “When I did my undergraduate zoology course, I think almost everyone on the course was inspired to be there because of Sir David Attenborough in some shape or another and I watched all his shows growing up.”

Gigi has shared her expertise on bees by giving talks at events across Sussex and stressed the importance of presenters knowing their facts.

She said: “I think it’s really important for science presenters to have that science and research background, to have experience about how the science works and to be able to explain that to a wider audience.”

However, she admitted that presenting was not her only option at this time.

She said: “It would obviously be fantastic if I won, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I never became a TV presenter because I love what I’m doing right now with my research.

“But, it’s always important to keep your options open and try new challenges.”

To watch Gigi’s audition video, click here.