He then had an idea for a series, bought a video camera, and went to the jungles of Colombia, where he made a pilot which he sold to the National Geographic Channel, which employed him in 1998 as its 'Adventurer in Residence' and he spent five years as a producer and presenter.
For National Geographic International, Backshall presented the expedition series Game For It and the environmental series Earth Pulse.
In his first series he travelled up Australia's east coast from Tasmania to Cape Tribulation.
In the next series, he travelled around Central America, the Galapagos, and then Southern Africa for the final series in 2006. He was the first person to explore the caves below a mighty sinkhole in the Mulu mountains of Borneo, and also to make the first ascent of the North Face of Mount Kuli.
He filmed Extreme Caving, BBC One 2008, with Kate Humble, Secret Wilderness Japan, BBC Two 2008, and also presented Nature Reports for the BBC's The One Show.The fourth season of the series, Deadly Pole to Pole was filmed in 2013–2014 from the Arctic circle to Antarctica, journeying south through the Americas.The scenarios included being hunted by a polar bear whilst kayaking in Svalbard, filming feeding sharks and eagles using timeslice technology, exploring flooded caves and the insides of a glacier, and catching dozens of species of snake and crocodile.In 2016 the BBC aired a series called Steve Backshall's Extreme Mountain Challenge, in which the explorer attempted to repeat a previous expedition (filmed in Lost Land of the Jaguar) by climbing one of Venezuela's remote and forbidding tepuis - sheer-sided flat-top mountains.In Episode 1 Backshall and his team tackle Amaurai Tepui in south Venezuela's Canaima National Park.
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