Tony Soper (born 10 January 1929) is a British naturalist, author and broadcaster.
Life and career
Soper was educated at Hyde Park Elementary School and at Devonport High School for Boys, both in Plymouth. He joined the BBC at 17 as a "youth-in-training", subsequently graduating by way of studio manager to features producer in radio, then moved into television. Among the radio programmes he produced were Birds In Britain.
Soper co-founded the BBC's Natural History Unit as its first film producer, supported by Patrick Beech the then South West Controller. Cutting his teeth on the LOOK series he organised far-flung wildlife filming projects. He presented live television programmes, including Birdwatch, Birdspot, Discovering Birds, Discovering Animals, Beside the Sea, Wildtrack, and Nature. Soper also co-presented Animal Magic with Johnny Morris for a few years in the 1960s. For many years he also had a regular column in the RSPB members' magazine.
As Expedition Leader and a pioneer of wildlife cruising, he has spent the last twenty years exploring both polar regions. He holds a British Yachtmaster's licence and is a qualified compressed air, oxygen, hard hat diver.
Soper's wife Hilary is a wildlife painter, and they have two sons.
- The Bird Table Book (1965, several editions to 2006)
- Wildlife Begins at Home (1975)
- Everyday Birds (1976)
- Discovering Birds (1983)
- Penguins [with John Sparks] (1987)
- A Passion For Birds (1988)
- Owls [with John Sparks] (1995)
- Wildlife of the North Atlantic (2008)
- The Arctic: A Guide to Coastal Wildlife (2012)
- The Northwest Passage (2012)
- Antarctica: A Guide to the Wildlife (2013)