The National Marine Aquarium features in a 6-part documentary series, ‘Secrets of the Aquarium‘, which is currently being aired every Tuesday on BBC2 at 8pm until 19th December 2023!

The show has been 18 months in the making, and showcases the dedication of our staff as they face challenges, heartbreak, and happiness, whilst caring for over 5000 amazing animals at the National Marine Aquarium, located here in Plymouth. You can watch the show on BBC iPlayer here.

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About the Show

Secrets of The Aquarium takes viewers on an extraordinary journey behind the scenes of the National Marine Aquarium, the largest Aquarium in the UK, offering a unique glimpse into the captivating world of marine life. With breath-taking cinematography and exclusive access to the inner workings of the NMA, the series showcases the incredible diversity of the marine species who make the National Marine Aquarium their home. You will be introduced to our dedicated team of experts, marine biologists, and caretakers who work tirelessly to ensure the well-being of our resident sea creatures while engaging in vital conservation efforts.

The 6-part documentary series is narrated by Joanna Scanlan (Thick of It, Getting On, Notes on a Scandal, In the Loop) and features fascinating stories of looking after animals and our conservation efforts. These stories include creating a cozy cave for Larry the lobster, rehoming a turtle from the Maldives, the unforeseen problems of seagrass restoration, connecting people in local care homes with the sea, and a plenty of content about our cheeky green turtle, Friday. These stories highlight the profound impact of the National Marine Aquarium and the Ocean Conservation Trust, showcasing our commitment to restoring and protecting the Ocean.

Don’t miss this mesmerizing journey on BBC Two and iPlayer, and prepare to be spellbound by the extraordinary inhabitants of the National Marine Aquarium. Come and uncover the secrets of our underwater world.



In the opening episode, Marcus, our curator, has to move a problem shark to the top of the deepest tank in the UK, Andrew, our biologist diver, builds a cave for a reclusive lobster and Friday the turtle has his own difficult shark encounter.




Catching rays is a challenge with a sting in the tail, and Xav has to find a way to keep Friday the Turtle out of trouble. Meanwhile, Freyja gives some care- home residents a close encounter with sharks.



Marcus and Emma head to the Maldives on a rescue mission for an injured turtle. Back in Plymouth, Ian trains Zeus the zebra shark using a toy boat, and Andrew collects fresh seaweed for Larry the lobster.




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Secrets of The Aquarium


The Makers of Secrets of the Aquarium:

Our documentary series, Secrets of the Aquarium, is brought to you by the talented Welsh production company, Hall of Mirrors. They are specialists in making factual entertainment and documentary series and have been behind the lens of some of the UK’s best loved shows. Their team spent a year filming at the Aquarium getting involved in everything that goes on here. As a result the TV show is as honest a portrayal as you will get of life working at an Aquarium.



100% of profits raised through admission tickets, café and retail sales go directly to the Ocean Conservation Trust. Our charity dedicated to protecting the Ocean through community engagement and habitat restoration.

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) is the UK’s largest aquarium, located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth. It is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the Ocean.

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