Natural history filmmaker Sir David Attenborough has made a three-part series documentary on the Great Barrier Reef. The documentary had a special screening at the Australia House in London in front of 200 strong guests and was graced by royalty and celebrities. The series laids bare never before seen footages of the Great Barrier Reef that Attenborough was able to shoot using marine science and the latest film techniques.

According to, the documentary received funding from Tourism Australia and was produced by Atlantic Productions. Attenborough revisited Australia for filming purposes after 60 years and filmed the new series in just over three weeks.

The 89-year-old Attenborough was joined by entertainer Barry Humphries, Prince Phillip, actor Helena Bonham Carter, celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and Rick Stein and scientist Tim Flannery, reports Sky News Australia.

Despite his age, Attenborough set a deep-sea diving record when he went 300 metres below to obtain some never-seen-before footage. He was assisted by a submersible Triton pilot and a cameraman. Attenborough came across a 1.8 metre grouper fish. It is not known to exist at such a depth. It was made possible by the highly advanced filming technology that Attenborough used. His 1957 film on the Reef was in black and white.

“Documentary filming techniques have come on in leaps and bounds since David last filmed on the Great Barrier Reef nearly 60 years ago, and I think the images we have captured will not only wow audiences but also assist them in better understanding and, importantly, appreciating one of the most fascinating natural wonders on our planet,” said producer Anthony Geffen.

For his new documentary, Attenborough visited Osprey Reef and Ribbon Reef, Lizard and Heron Island, Orpheus, Magnetic and Lady Elliot. The documentary will be broadcasted in UK and Australia first and then other key tourism markets such as New Zealand, USA, Japan and China.

John O’ Sullivan, Managing Director of Tourism Australia said that Attenborough’s documentary will coincide with their marketing campaign that focuses on the country’s natural waterways. He added that Australia’s coastal and aquatic story have always been an important selling point for Australian tourism but had never taken centre stage. However, Attenborough’s documentary will change that.

“This film shows the Reef in ways never previously seen and provides a wonderful vehicle for us to shine a light on Australia’s outstanding aquatic and coastal experiences,” Sullivan said.

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