Feb 4

Derek Kilkenny-Blake-ARKiveNearly in my half-century, I’m a family man with my wife Sarah and two Star Wars loving boys aged 8 and 4.  I turned from the dark side of a banking career to become a natural history wildlife film-maker, specialising in multimedia projects.  Today I work as one of two moving image (video) editors at Wildscreen.

What are you currently working on?

Most of my time is spent editing movies that will eventually go on-line to form part of the ARKive project.  Right now I am about to start the sandy dogfish, a small fish that is a relative of sharks.

What animal skill would you most like to have?

Many of the animals I see and watch in this job have weird and wonderful adaptations, but the one thing that I think is best is being cute. I would like to be cute too!

Which three people would you invite to the ultimate dinner party?

I’m not really that interested in celebrities they are ordinary people like you or me, but happen to have had very public careers.  I’d like to invite people who I think I would have very easy conversations with, after all I don’t want to get indigestion.  So I think I would invite Peter O’Toole (I envy his voice so I would just listen and wouldn’t need to talk at all), Marilyn Monroe (I couldn’t talk in her presence), and Charles Darwin (I’m sure he’d have a few stories to tell).

Where in the world would you most like to go?

I’m a bit of a coward when it comes to adventure, so I think I would prefer the question to be when, rather than where.  I would love to travel back in time to see the dinosaurs, and to see some of the wildlife spectacles of the pre-human eras.  I’m not sure any of us could imagine the shear weirdness of it all, what an experience that would be.

Which celebrity do you most look like?

People say I look like the late English comedian Bernie Winters, though I have never owned a dog called Schnorbitz.  Apparently his St. Bernard dog once fell into a swimming pool and was rescued by Barbara (EastEnders Old Vic.) Windsor.

What’s the best wildlife encounter you’ve ever had?

Humnnn….that’s tricky…..I can remember very clearly the first time I found a hedgehog in my back garden, or the first time I saw chicks in a nest in the hedgerow, but I guess it would be something like meeting deer along a woodland path or watching water voles along a riverbank.  All these experiences for me are high on my list.

What’s your favourite thing on ARKive?

The mallard duck. If I do get the opportunity to come back as something after I am dead, I want to be a duck on a pond!

Tell us an animal related joke.

Why do polar bears not eat penguins?
Because they can’t get the wrapper off.