WELL known for her presenting work on programmes such as the BBC’s COAST and The One Show, Miranda Krestovnikoff has long had a passion for the natural world – particularly marine life.

We caught up with Miranda ahead of her appearance at the Peebles Outdoor Film Festival later this month

What is it about the natural world that excites you so much?

I’ve always been connected with wildlife: as a child I used to spend all my spare time outside climbing trees or watching wildlife. There’s always something new or remarkable to see.

You are a keen diver and have a particular love for waters close to home, including Scotland

Yes, the waters around Scotland are rich in diversity and often the clarity is comparable to the Caribbean … just not quite as warm! Sometimes it’s the smaller creatures that are most fascinating.

In Loch Carron on the Applecross peninsula, there are entire reefs created by small molluscs called flame shells. They form a thick mat which creates a stable surface for a vast array of organisms to set up home on, yet they remain hidden underneath. That is unless you peel away the edge of the mat which reveals crazy, orange-coloured creatures with long tentacles – a bit like Animal from the Muppet Show!

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve had to do on TV?

One of the most unusual shoots was with a lady on Islay who would play her violin to the local grey seal population. As I am a flautist, I was asked if I would play a duet with her …to the seals!

We set out on a small boat to a group of rocks and sat there playing together. We roused quite an audience!

You have a high-profile role with various conservation charities, including serving as president of the RSPB. Tell us more

Many charitable organisations involve television personalities and presenters as a way of getting their message to a wide audience. As a communicator, I enjoy combining my passion for wildlife on television with my involvement in conservation projects. I can help give these organisations a voice and really raise their profile on screen.

What can audiences expect when you present in Peebles?

My talk will highlight some of the most memorable stories I have worked on as a wildlife presenter – not least the challenges of filming underwater when the animals don’t really do what you want them to! It will be a behind-the-scenes trip through some of my best dives, including being dive-bombed by gannets, diving with a friendly dolphin and of course the wonderful grey seals of the Farne Islands. It’s aimed at a wide audience, so families are very welcome!

Miranda Krestovnikoff is one of the headline speakers at the 2020 Peebles Outdoor Film Festival, held at the Eastgate Theatre, between January 24 and 26. Join her for The Sea Around Me, at 7pm on Friday, January 24 . Tickets available from Box Office on 01721 725777, or online at www.eastgatearts.com