Tokyo – NHK’s Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid will air on BBC2 on July 13. Viewers in the UK will be able to enjoy the programme in a Natural World special entitled Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible. The programme was licensed through NHK affiliate NHK Enterprises. 

The documentary is about the largest-ever international quest to capture the legendary giant squid on film in its natural habitat. A team of scientists and crew from NHK and Discovery U.S. deployed state-of-the-art submersibles and filming gear on about 100 dives off Japan’s Ogasawara Islands – and finally succeeded in filming the creature. The documentary is the pay-off for ten years of research and investigation by NHK. 

Natural World Commissioning Executive Producer Chris Cole said: “We know our viewers love surprise and new things – and of course it’s harder and harder to find these. Filming the giant squid has been the ambition of wildlife filmmakers for decades and is both surprising and new – truly a myth made real – so we’re delighted to be able to share NHK’s film with our audiences.”

NHK Enterprises Executive Producer Hiromichi Iwasaki also expressed excitement: “We’re thrilled the BBC has decided to air Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid. The Natural World team is highly selective about content, so we’re honoured they chose our programme. The encounter with the giant squid was a really magical moment for everyone involved. We hope to share the excitement with viewers around the world.”

Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid was also licensed to Spain’s TVE as well as Sweden’s SVT, who will air the programme in Novemner as part of their Giants series. The programme premiered in Japan earlier in 2013, followed by broadcasts in the U.S., Canada, Germany and France, creating a huge buzz beyond borders. The documentary was also picked up by Discovery International, further expanding its global reach.