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The Month Ahead: TV

What to read, watch and listen to in January

Dominic Monaghan gets friendly with life’s less agreeable critters

WHEN YOU IMAGINE a nature documentary in which the intrepid host ends up in a tree with a 12-foot python, you’re probably not picturing the host being Charlie from “Lost.” Start picturing. This month, actor and creepy-crawly fan Dominic Monaghan hosts a new series called “Wild Things” for BBC America. Here, he helps us to answer the single most pressing question about the show: “Huh?”

How exactly is it that you know so much about exotic animals? It’s just something I have a keen interest in. I watch a lot of nature shows and read a lot of papers about what’s going on in the world of natural history. I also keep a lot of animals, so that helps.

What kinds of animals do you have? Right now I have a snake, a gecko, a chameleon, a black widow spider and a tarantula.

Not all in the same cage, I hope. Yeah, you couldn’t put any of those guys together or they’d get a little ornery.

You’ve said that you learned a lot of life lessons from observing insects and reptiles. Certainly, watching the life of an insect or an arachnid or any kind of invertebrate or animal teaches you something. They are successful in a different way than we are. We throw the word “awesome” around too much. Hot dogs are not awesome, but the natural world is, I think. The more I look at it, the more genuinely awesome it becomes.

Do you have a deadly-animal bucket list? I do. I sit down with my team at the start of each season and we work out what we want to find. I wanted to go see army ants in Ecua-dor and the world’s largest honeybee and the world’s most dangerous scorpion.

How big is the world’s largest honeybee? Probably about five or six times bigger than the regular one. It’s not an absolute beast, but in terms of a honeybee, you know, it’s large. JAN. 22

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