BBC bosses have today admitted faking a number of scenes in their wildlife showcase piece Frozen Planet, which viewers had assumed were filmed in the wild. In fact most of the scenes were filmed in the Iceland, not the country but a branches of the supermarket chain.
Following yesterday's revelations that a scene inside a polar bear's den was filmed in a chest freezer in Lewisham, programme makers today admitted a sequence involving a caterpillar freezing and then thawing out was filmed in Iceland's Slough branch, 'next to the mini prawn cocktail two for one offer'.
A time-lapse film of a snowflake forming was also captured in a controlled environment; on the store manager's glasses as he refilled the mini pizza cabinet at the Hackney branch.
Presenter Sir David Attenborough came out in defence of the techniques yesterday by saying documentaries sometimes had to be treated like movies so as not to 'ruin the effect' for the viewer.
"Look, everybody knows the state this country is in. do you really think the BBC has money to produce this sort of thing in exotic locations like the polar caps? Of course not; that's why we went to Iceland, they offer amazing deals.
"We got to film two episodes for the price of one; and we got 5,000 points per episode on our loyalty card."
He was speaking after it emerged that dramatic footage of a polar bear on the flagship show was in fact Johnny Vegas in a furry suit filmed in the drinks isle of Iceland's Harrow branch whilst staff poured packets of Dreft over him from a gantry to simulate a snow storm.
Eight million viewers had been led to believe the scene had been captured by BBC cameramen at the North and South Poles in the brutal sub-zero temperatures of wilderness.
A disgruntled licence payer said, "I have been waiting decades for the old boy to be eaten by something; anything in fact. I was hoping those white bears would get him, but nobody has ever been attacked by a polar bear in a supermarket in Harrow. I want my money back!"
Tonight Sir David admitted the whole thing was a fake, "I am over eighty years old; do you really think that I am going to lay about in the cold snow with real polar bears when I can film the whole series in the comfort of Iceland supermarket branches?
This comes at a time when a Daily Mail TV reporters have exposed similar fraudulent TV activates; apparently Eastenders is not filmed in the East End of London and the animals that appear in it are not genuine Eastenders.
A clearly emotional spokesman for the TV Licence Payers Group said, "The whole thing sends a shiver down my spine. Quite frankly the images and the reality of the Frozen Planet series are poles apart. I am going outside - I may be some time".