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Ben Fogle ...
 Himself (10 episodes, 2008)
Kate Humble ...
 Herself (10 episodes, 2008)
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Documentary

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10 July 2000 (UK)  »

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Vadaspark  »

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Referenced in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle: Satire (2014) See more »

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Fills the slot for daytime TV producers but doesn't offer a whole lot more
9 June 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Daytime television producers must love reality television shows; and by reality I don't mean Big Brother, Celebrity Love Island and other big "event" type shows, but rather the day to day stuff where cameras record life in airports, hospitals, with traffic police and so on. It is pretty cheap to make and thus it can effectively fill many of the hours that make up the non-primetime slots. With Animal Park, I was curious to see what it was about because surely it would lack the meat and potatoes of most of this sort of thing – the infighting, drama and stress between real people. Walk into any work place and you'll find rumours, gossip, infighting and so on, so it is just a matter of finding somewhere good and sticking the cameras in there.

Of course, filming in an animal park does mostly remove the sort of stuff you get with airport-set shows but instead you have the dramas associated with looking after the animals. Whether it is surgery on animals, deaths, births and so on, Animal Park sets up the animals as characters themselves and follows them more than the staff. The idea is fine if you are a producer but I'm not entirely sure how much value it has beyond filling the air time. I was vaguely interested in the episode I watched to get a feel of it, but really I had little interest beyond that. Ben Fogle and Kate Humble do their best to be all warm and excited about things and, in fairness, they work well on this level and at least it keeps reality-show "star" Fogle safely off our screens at any other time than 0900.

Fills the long daytime television hours cheaply and probably provides non-challenging distraction for housewives and elderly people kicking around the house on weekday mornings, but I serious doubt anyone goes to work and sets their video for this stuff.


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