Bertie Gregory

"The Battle of the Beasts" episode of Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory

National Geographic for Disney+
Bertie Gregory

"The Battle of the Beasts" episode of Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory

National Geographic for Disney+
Bertie Gregory

"Tracking Ocean Giants" episode of Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory

National Geographic for Disney+
Bertie Gregory

"Tracking Ocean Giants" episode of Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory

National Geographic for Disney+
Fill 1
Fill 1
September 20, 2022
In The Mix

Bertie Gregory's Animal Magnetism

The wildlife filmmaker delights in the great outdoors in the NatGeo docuseries Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory.

Jacqueline Cutler

Few people work more gleefully than Bertie Gregory. How many folks pop up from the sea beaming after running into a pilot whale?

"The most fun part was that one of the whales did a huge poo, and I swam right into it," Gregory says in "Dolphin Quest," the last of five episodes of Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory. The Nat Geo show debuts on Disney+ September 8.

As a wildlife filmmaker, he has stellar credentials: a degree in zoology and an apprenticeship with one of National Geographic's star photographers. The youngest BAFTA winner for wildlife film (David Attenborough's Seven Worlds, One Planet), he's also had two Nat Geo web series.

Growing up in Reading, outside London, Gregory was fascinated by animals and photography. The two passions drove him to trespass on neighbors' farms.

"I was forever bumping into gamekeepers and farmers," Gregory recounts, laughing. "And I'd be like, 'I'm just trying to sneak up on the deer without scaring them.' And they'd be like, 'Really? That's not a thing teenagers do around here. You must be up to no good.'"

The friendliness he brings to his series is evident in a Zoom interview. Sure, he's nimble with drones, tech and cameras, but Gregory's joy propels him to another level.

"He is so charismatic," says Courteney Monroe, president of National Geographic Content. "His passion for wildlife and natural history is so infectious — we greenlit a second season even before a first season premiered."

This season, Gregory visits Antarctica, Zambia and Costa Rica. Life, naturally, doesn't always go according to plan. In one episode, he can't find the spinner dolphins he seeks. In another, the light used to spot icebergs at night blows out and — as there's no port in the infamous  Drake Passage — the ship's captain has to climb the mast to replace it, despite pitching waves.

Affable as he is, Gregory still allows himself a little trash-talking. "When you think of big migrations in Africa, everyone thinks it's the Serengeti, right?" he says from his Bristol home. "Well, compared to what we found, it's rubbish!"

He filmed 10 million fruit bats in Zambia. Watching drone footage in real time in "Eagle's Reign," the fourth episode, Gregory coos over how cute the fanged creatures are. It's that enthusiasm he takes to school talks.

"If you do a job that you're really passionate about, you're going to work really hard," he tells kids. "But it's not going to feel like work!"


This article originally appeared in emmy magazine issue #8, 2022, under the title, "Joy Rider."

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