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The Underwater Channel


Juliet Savigear

Being a somewhat nosey character, when I received a press release from The Underwater Channel, I requested to go and have a look at the set up for the new online, on-demand, free to view television station for us divers and anyone with an interest in the watery environment.
Simon Enderby When I arrived, Miranda Krestovnikoff, fresh faced and looking fantastically petite with her bump, was down for one of her monthly visits to interview various diving and underwater figures. I came through the door and she was chatting to underwater sculptor, Jason de Caires Taylor and having been handed his portfolio I have to admit I was really impressed by his work (you can see his latest piece if you head under one of the floating platforms at the National Diving and Activity Centre).

The Underwater Channel has been founded by their Managing Director, Nicholas Claxton who is from the real la-di-da land of television. He's an Emmy award-winning Producer/Director and worked for all the usual big names in TV (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, National Geographic and Discovery). Within seconds you realise just how passionate he is about this new venture which was about to launch (1st September) and how it would go down with the viewers, "I am really excited about the instant feedback that comes with modern media. You can't hide anything, it is the transparency that makes it so exciting" Nicholas enthused.

It seems that they are really trying to put their energy into high quality and high production values. Firstly by ensuring they have a top end delivery platform, Babelgum. OK, that probably means nothing to you or I, but essentially this online medium allows on-demand, uninterrupted programming (i.e. no stop start watching as your computer is 'buffering'). Secondly, with 99% of their content created by professionals from around the world, they aim to deliver the highest quality programmes for an international audience. And finally, Nicholas feels they have found seven "highly unique, talented and brilliant faces" (Miranda did offer to leave the room at this point!) to represent the channel across the globe giving worldwide appeal. To represent the UK we have the familiar faces of Miranda Krestovnikoff and Monty Halls.
Mola Mola Oh, if there are any experienced Aussi divers reading this and you think you may have that wet X factor, then get in touch with them, as they are casting for the face from Oz.

Anyway, back to one of the UK faces I did manage to get a chance to have a chat with Miranda. She was approached by Nicholas quite early in the planning stages and "really liked the direction the channel was taking and how it was all-encompassing in its global and conservation aspects." She had already covered a WWF report on climate change and felt it was very much her role "as a presenter to get the information out."

Miranda was particularly excited to have the opportunity to get really involved with brainstorming for new ideas, which is something she doesn't often get the chance for elsewhere. She really hopes to be able to bring in more information and options to divers, particularly those with families or partners that do not dive. She felt the new channel was "not just a celebration of diving but it is for anyone with an interest in marine life, the underwater world and conservation... It's really exciting, we don't know where it'll go. The world is our oyster!"

The Underwater Channel launched on 1st September with 80 minutes of programmes for the first month. It will look to grow its output in the early part of next year. Watch out for Miranda and Monty in Splash! ; Creature Features with Dr Alex Mustard and Exposure with celebrated underwater photographer, Martin Edge.

And don't forget to give your feedback: theunderwaterchannel.tv.
London School Of Diving
The Underwater Channel
London Diver's Rob puts a few crucial questions to Nicholas Claxton:

Is the internet waterproof?
As far as I know.

If I watch the Underwater Channel whilst underwater, will I fall into an inescapable, temporal loop, win 5 or get sent to prison?
You might get the bends.
Raggedtooth Shark Will the Underwater Channel cater for sharks and other elasmobranchs or will it instead just be aimed at viewers who are coral polyps and bony fishes?
We'll be throwing people to the sharks as well. No, there will be plenty of sharks. That's what everyone wants to see. One of the faces is Mark Addison from South Africa, he is dedicated to the research of shark behaviour.

If the Underwater Channel was a flavour of jam, would mice armed with automatic weapons rule the world?
Keep taking the drugs Rob!

Are you aware that Underwater Channel rhymes with Wonder Daughter Flannel?
Yes, now that you tell me it does.

Have you ever tried eating crisps underwater? What flavour?
Yes, Soft & Salty.

What has the Underwater Channel done to Fight The Power today?
Watch this space...
LDC Training

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