Monty Halls’ Great Irish Escape

by Lisa McGarry

In this new series Monty Halls and his trusty companion, dog Reuben, will be leaving their Bristol home for a new adventure living on the west coast of Ireland for six months, as he monitors and observes the rich sea life in the area.

As one of the wildest and most beautiful parts of Europe, some of the largest animals on the planet migrate through the waters at Connemara and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Monty to explore the extraordinary animals that live off these shores.

Going back to his roots as a marine biologist Monty will be working for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group which is dedicated to the conservation and better understanding of whales and dolphins in Irish waters. His work will help determine the distribution of whales, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks and even blue sharks around the coast and to estimate their numbers. Monty is keen to discover if the dolphins he frequently sees in his bay live there all year round. If he can they will be one of only four resident pods in the British Isles and could get special protection.

This series sees Monty diving in the Atlantic waters, where he comes face to face with animals such as the fearsome Conger Eels, he helps with the tagging of basking sharks which can grow up to 30ft long and he will aim to assist any beached mammals in the area, even doing an explosive autopsy on a beached whale!

Based on the island of Inishnee which is off the coast of the fishing village Roundstone in Connemara, Monty will be living as simply as possible, feeding himself from the sea and his cottage garden. Before the summer is over, Monty will get to enjoy the regattas, festivals and culture that west Ireland has to offer, as well as of course the wildlife.

Aside from the parties with the locals, mussel cooking competitions and sabotaging otters, Monty will be on a mission to prove that the Atlantic waters in Connemara have one of the richest sea lives in the world.

Starts 9pm Sunday 27th March on BBC Two