Lion Country

We were delighted on Sunday night’s ‘Chanters Lodge Experience’ (our regular weekly radio show aired from 20.30 hrs for an hour on Zambezi 107.7 fm Livingstone’s great local radio station), to host the film crew staying at Chanters. The team are winding up filming the lion encounter based at Thorn Tree Lodge for the forthcoming second series of Lion Country, a documentary to be broadcast on ITV in UK from January 2011 every Friday at 20.00 hrs for 12 weeks.

“We’re in competition with Eastenders at that time” commented Phil Broadhurst – the cameraman who took that great shot of the studio above. Personally I don’t think they need to worry – they had an audience of 4 million for the first series and the second series sounds wonderful! The rest of the crew in attendance were Sebastian Dunn, the sound man, and Alison Quirk, the producer. Also in the photo are Milli Jam and George Soulchild who expertly co-host the show, and myself.

“Are you scared of lions?” We wanted to know. Generally they said they were not, but they mentioned that when they were filming in Zimbabwe they were surrounded at night by 80 of the beasts making a tremendous noise. Sebastian, the sound man, gave us a great impression of a lion’s roar which we made him repeat! “Have you done the night encounter?” we asked the crew. “Not yet, it’s the last thing we have to shoot before we go home” Alison informed the listeners.

The crew gave us the background to their professional careers revealing that both Phil and Seb have been highly involved with all sorts of programmes featuring wildlife in the past. Alison is the producer and the organizer. We’ve had great business at Chanters from various members of this crew during 2010, and it was lovely to hear them praise the lodge, the food and the staff and to tell listeners that Chanters really felt like their second home.

The music for the show was a good mix as usual. Bruno Mars ‘Just The Way You Are’ kept up our record of playing the current number one in UK – we played it back to back with Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl In The World’ the first single from her new album, high in the US Charts. On the local scene George featured ‘Temperature’ by Uniq (“I suppose it means his girl friend raises his temperature” I speculated. “Affirmative” the guys replied). We played the ever popular Petersen’s “Dance With You” as well. (I was delighted to be given a copy of the new JK album by George, though Milli Jam reported massive disappointment amongst the Livingstone public that JK had been miming during his recent album launch at Steprite).

Milli Jam featured Soul IV Real’ ‘Candy Love’ back to back with Aaliyah’s ‘Rock The Boat’ and we played two tracks from the new Phil Collins album ‘Going Back’ – the title track and ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’. Great new version of an old favourite. We played ‘Going Back’ for Cara, the Lion Manager out at lion encounter who’s a great Collins fan.

As usual we gave away a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge with drinks – this week for the first person to text us the name of the animal the guys had come to here to film. There was a quick response and everyone got it right! We greeted Guests, mentioning that we were very multi-national this week at Chanters with Guests from Japan, Italy, UK, Egypt, USA, Norway, South Africa and Zambia. We wished two of the Chanters Girls not feeling well a speedy recovery, and greeted the rest of the staff by name too.

The crew thanked the lodge for our hospitality and thanked too all the people at lion encounter who had made their trip so memorable. “When do you leave?” Asked Milli Jam. “On Wednesday” replied Phil, as Milimo and George laughed. “What’s funny?” asked Phil. “Richard only brings Guests leaving on Monday” they replied, as we closed a really fun show.