World Zoos

World Zoos, presented by James Fisher

James Fisher is the presenter of this 1960s BBC Television series. World Zoos visited more than 13 zoos a year to make this a highly entertaining and educational piece of television. James Fisher travelled to places such as Moscow, Lisbon, Stuttgart, Monte Carlo, Hamburg, Newfoundland, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan and Iceland during the making of the series. James Fisher made more than 200 flights during the course of the three year filming period.

The World Zoos programmes were produced in the 1960s by Nicholas Crocker (then head of outside broadcasts for the BBC, west-region) and the shows were compiled at the BBC studios in Bristol. The series was made by a very small unit, consisting of James Fisher, Nicholas Crocker and the camera crew.

On one occasion the World Zoos team visit Naples Zoo, unique at the time, as it had a quarantine station within proximity to the zoo. This facility enabled all hoofed animals, destined for zoos in other European countries to be lodged and screened for infection before their journey. One highlight for James Fisher whilst at Naples, was the arrival of a pair of rare antelopes, known as Dibatags

James Fisher (1912-1970) was an author, naturalist and ornithologist and made over a thousand radio and television broadcasts. He was also a leading authority on the pioneering naturalist and ornithologist Gilbert White (1720-1793).

Fisher was also a vice-chairman of the Countryside Commission. James Fisher was a member of a small team who on September 18, 1955 raised the Union Flag and took possession, on an official basis for the UK, of the small and uninhabited rocky islet of Rockall, in the North Atlantic.

Sadly, James Fisher died in a car crash in 1970, he was married with six children.
After James Fisher died, the seabird island of Copinsay, Orkney, was purchased following a public appeal. Copinsay would become a permanent nature reserve and was dedicated to James Fisher's name.

Return to top of page