Former RTÉ Chief News Correspondent Charlie Bird is set to spend a month in an Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic in the hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the region.
Speaking about his new project for The Irish Times website on RTÉ's The Saturday Night Show last night (February 8), Bird said: "I'm going as far up as I can go in the Canadian Arctic. It's a fascinating place called Grise Fiord. It's the most northerly place in North America. Only 130 people live there."
When asked by host Brendan O'Connor what he loves about the Inuit people, who he first met in 2008 for an RTÉ documentary, Bird replied: "It's fantastic, the way the people live. At the moment they're coming out of their dark period. On Sunday (February 9) the sun will peep over the horizon. It's been completely dark for the last three months. Every half-hour every day it will get a bit brighter."
Bird said that he is excited but daunted by having to work on his own, adding: "I've learned how to do video blogs and edit so I can send it back. In the past I was with my mates from RTÉ and from [production company] Crossing the Line and I'd always have someone to give me a dig out."
He also discussed his popular YouTube video that sees him meeting seals while travelling through Antarctica.
He said: "Up until last year the video had received over a million hits. Last week I got a phone call from Germany and then someone else in Australia. In the last week alone it has got 500,000 hits. It's now within 50,000 of two million."
Watch the interview at: http://www.rte.ie/player.