Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Lucy Cooke

Lucy Cooke

Springwatch star Lucy lifts the lid on animals’ hidden lives in hometown show

TV presenter and author Lucy Cooke will be demolishing the myths and mystique surrounding some of the world’s best-loved creatures in a funny and fascinating show as part of  the Hastings Literary Festival, reports Angela J. Phillip.

Lucy, who was born in the town’s Conquest Hospital and moved back to Hastings two years ago, will be presenting The Unexpected Truth About Animals at St Mary in the Castle at 10:00 on September 1.

The talk, based on Lucy’s book of the same name, will be lifting the lid on some familiar animals which – it turns out – we don’t really know at all. The show is suitable for children aged 12 and above.

Lucy, who has a master’s in zoology and studied under Richard Dawkins at Oxford, says: “It’s a funny talk about how we got animals wrong. Sloths have been maligned, whereas they’re energy-saving icons that we have a lot to learn from. On the other hand penguins, who everyone thinks are cute and monogamous, are brutal necrophiliacs!”

Lucy, described by The Times as ‘a rising star of natural history’ and successor to David Attenborough, is a familiar broadcaster in both the UK and US. She has presented a number of series for BBC1, BBC4 and Channel 4, and last year joined the Springwatch team on BBC2, as a roving reporter and co-host. Lucy was also a team captain on the BBC2 natural history quiz show Curious Creatures.

Her family came from Pett Level and she has fond memories of going birding, frogging and shrimping there with her father David. She also learned about natural history from her grandfather Reg, who was a shepherd on Romney Marsh and a renowned amateur ornithologist who appeared on BBC Radio 4 to share his knowledge.

Lucy says that since moving back to Hastings from London she has fallen in love with the area all over again and enjoys getting out and about in the countryside and on the coast with her Jug (Jack Russell/Pug) cross dog Kobi.

Lucy says:  “I’m very excited to be part of my local literary festival. There’s a great creative community in Hastings, slightly left-field. Coming back to live here I feel I’ve found my tribe.”

As one of the world’s leading experts on the strange biology of the sloth, Lucy founded the Sloth Appreciation Society to both promote and protect the world’s slowest mammal and its languorous lifestyle. Her sloth viral videos have been watched by millions and featured on dozens of TV shows, earning her the reputation as ‘the Steven Spielberg of sloth filmmaking’.

Lucy’s knowledge and humour have made her a regular guest on The Infinite Monkey Cage (Radio 4), and The Museum of Curiosity (Radio 4). She has also guested on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour and Midweek and Cerys Matthews (Radio 6).

She is the author of The truth about Animals & Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife and has written two books about sloths: The Power of Sloth and Life in the Sloth Lane: Slow Down and Smell the Hibiscus.


Tickets for The Unexpected Truth About Animals are available through Hastings LitFest website or from St Mary in the Castle.

Hastings LitFest 2019 runs from 30 August-1 September at venues in Hastings and St Leonards.

Image of Lucy Cooke supplied by Hastings Literary Festival

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Posted 17:22 Monday, Jul 15, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat

Also in: Hastings Bookchat

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