Episode 118: Sophie Darlington

Sophie Darlington is a wildlife cinematographer for shows such as David Attenborough's 'Planet Earth'. She regularly gets up way before dawn in places such as Sri Lanka or East Africa, and sits for over 12 hours a day watching the animal she’s filming, often for weeks at a time. She says it’s the best job in the world but you come back 'rinsed'.

When her son Louis came along 23 years ago, Sophie had to take a break from her cinematography work for several years, but she returned when Louis was 4 and a half and even took him to live with her in the Serengeti for a year, while she worked. She also has an 11 year old step daughter now, who she says is 'so cool'.

She is passionate about nature, and she is worried about the effect of climate change on the natural world, having observed worrying trends over the past decades during her cinematography projects.

Sophie says it takes a certain mindset to want to sit for 10 hours in 36 degree heat in a metre by metre hide, or 30 metres up a tree. She also says that when she comes back from filming she can't cross a road for a while as she's so unused to city life.  

Sophie says her purpose is to 'make people give a damn'. And it's definitely worked on me.

Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones

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