Clarke Gayford has scored his "dream gig", starring in a new nature documentary that promises to lift the lid on the secret life of sharks in lockdown.
"Shark Lockdown", part of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week, will feature sharks from Foveaux Strait and is fronted by the Prime Minister's fiance and noted New Zealand shark expert Kina Scollay.
The sharks in the area can grow so massive that they have become known as "the 747s" after the famous jumbo jet.
The show's producers said the area allowed them to explore one of the "Holy Grails" of shark mysteries: why females leave the area when their size indicates they've reached sexual maturity.
"They disappear and nobody's really sure why they're there and where they've gone," said Howard Swartz, Discovery's senior vice president for production and development.
What Scollay, Gayford and the team discovered was an unusual mix of male and female sharks, some of the latter which carry fresh mating gashes that are on painful-looking display in the documentary.
That suggested the area was a mating ground absent from human activity, a possibility that could lead to new safeguards for the great white population, Swartz said.
Gayford has been sharing teases of the show with his followers on social media, touting the show's all-Kiwi production team and revealing the adrenaline-pumping shoot was a big shift from life in lockdown with Jacinda, Neve and the family.
"@sharkweek on Discovery has been running since 1988, as the channels most anticipated event, it kicks off this weekend on US screens to massive American audiences before going on to 72 other countries.
"I'm proud to announce an all NZ field crew production 'Shark Lockdown' sits in the schedules prime broadcast spot this year.
"Being asked to feature and study shark behaviour up close was a dream gig to get, especially coming hard out of lockdown and getting straight back into the water for a crazy life ' nappies to sharks' juxtaposition," Gayford wrote.
- Additional reporting, NZ Herald