Strictly: Hamza Yassin emotional as he reflects on experience
Hamza Yassin has made the revelation that wildlife shows are deliberately edited for dramatic effect and that appearances may not be as they seem.
However, the Strictly Come Dancing star, who triumphed on the BBC show with pro Jowita Przystal last year, insists that he wants nothing more than to tell the truth.
Letting fans in on how scenes are manipulated to make viewers more emotional, he explained: “The amount of times we’ll film a cheetah family, and she’s got three babies, and we just zoom in slightly and crop out the last baby.
“Then you bring in a lion and the lion goes “Grr” and you think, ‘Oh, the lion’s killed the baby!’
“And then, five minutes of drama, and we just zoom back out again and then you say, ‘Ah, it’s all a happy story’. No. That didn’t happen. We are dramatising what we are seeing,” he elaborated.
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Talking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, as reported by Mail Online, he added that the aim is to get viewers emotionally involved so that they will engage with causes to help animals and the environment.
However, he continued: “I want to tell the truth. I want to say what’s happening in this world.”
Hamza’s passion for animals and rugged landscapes led him to move to Scotland at a young age and, while he initially had no home there, that didn’t deter the cameraman as he lived out of his car.
Fans have been enthralled by his latest documentary, Strictly: Birds of Prey, with one taking to Twitter (X) to exclaim: “Surely Hamza has to be the next David Attenborough when David stands down.”
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However, he almost didn’t enter the profession at all as his parents had firm plans for him to take on a career in medicine.
Becoming increasingly discontent, he had a heart-to-heart with them, explaining he’d “fallen deeply in love with mother nature” and wanted to pursue his dreams.
Chatting to The Guardian, Hamza clarified: “I was following in the family footsteps being in the medical profession but then declined it for zoology.
“I said to [my parents], ‘Look, I’m severely dyslexic – this is going to be an absolute nightmare. As much as I’d love to please everybody by becoming a medic, I’ve got to follow my dreams of becoming a wildlife cameraman and zoologist.'”
That decision paid off, as Hamza went on to achieve two degrees – one in Zoology and one in Biological Imaging and Photography – and success as a presenter on various BBC shows followed.
He has worked on Countryfile, Animal Park, The One Show, The Hunt and even on rival channel ITV’s This Morning, to name a few.
Hamza has also clarified that 97-year-old Attenborough – who is almost three times his age – is one of his biggest idols.
“[He gave me the love of mother nature and I want to pass that onto the next generation,” he explained.
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