TV’s diving duo at ExCeL show

An exciting TV diving duo is a late addition to the line-up of speakers at this year’s London International Dive Show at ExCeL today and tomorrow.

In Swimming With Crocodiles, millions of BBC viewers recently discovered that it’s possible to dive even with mighty Nile crocodiles, if you choose the right time, dive the plan and have nerves of steel.

Now LIDS provides the chance to meet the man who went in close to get those amazing shots – BBC cameraman Mike Pitts – along with producer Ingrid Kvale, who co-ordinated this amazing operation. For Mike it all became a little too amazing at one point – you can catch the full background story at the show.

Mike and Ingrid will be filling a slot on the LIDS speaker programme at 12.45 on Saturday 31 March vacated by Fred Buyle, another image-maker who loves challenging wildlife encounters. But don’t worry, if it’s the lowdown on freediving with great white sharks you crave, Fred flies in on Sunday (April 1) to deliver the goods.

Mike and Ingrid join Monty Halls and Paul Rose to make for an impressive turn-out of people from the BBC who bring diving to our screens.

Monty is fresh from making home and away hits Great Barrier Reef and The Fisherman’s Apprentice; while Paul, whose last big series was Britain’s Secret Seas, is set to reveal all about a life Defined By Diving.

LIDS is a roll-call of top-notch presenters, including four specialising in wrecks. These range from the ancient, as Deeptrek’s Rico Oldfield brings to life historic vessels off Wales and Panama; to the deep, in the shape of Dark Star technical divers Mark Dixon and Jeff Cornish; to the ridiculously deep, as Rory Golden relives his submersible trips to the Titanic.

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There’s also ace underwater photographer Alex Mustard on how to win photo contests, and tech instructor Mark Powell on helping solo-diving out of the closet.

Meanwhile, more than 200 stands in the LIDS 2012 exhibition hall will feature dive gear, travel, training and services.

Tickets booked in advance cost just �8.50 a head instead of �11.50 on the door. Children under 14 go free.