David Attenborough






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        Biography
        H I S  L I F E

        nat·u·ral his·to·ry
        {Noun}

          1.The scientific study of animals or plants, presented in popular rather than academic form.

        David Frederick Attenborough (b. 1926). The Icon of British TV.

          'I am not over fond of animals.'
          - Sir David Attenborough

        News
        4th June 2013: Sir David Attenborough is undergoing emergency heart surgery today. On the advice of his cardiologist, Sir David, 87, is having a pacemaker fitted in London today. He was due to embark on a sold-out tour of Australia next week, which has now been cancelled, promoters said. More to follow

        August 2013: Added smartphone page with extensive scans of my essential bird book, RSPB Pocket Birds of Britain and Europe Paperback Book

        Biog.
        Icon, the BBC personified...if there was a poll asking the British public who their favourite person on British TV over the last 60 years was then I doubt anyone would come close to Sir David Attenborough. But why?...more


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          'I’ve been in broadcasting for 60 years. It’s unbelievable. I’ve been earning a living for 60 years.’
          ~ David Attenborough, 2011

        Theories
        I Have a Theory...

        My take on his enduring popularity is his almost childlike-enthusiasm for his subject matter which age has not withered. Of course his palette is natural history and the treasure it holds is beyond comparison (more on this can be found on the Dvd review pages) but he is always in wonder at what he is describing and conveys that like no other.

        That and his natural likeability. He just doesn't seem to have a bad bone in his body. The British public love their presenters to be genuinely nice with an easy charm (someone we can relate to who could almost live next-door) and no-one is nicer than Attenborough. That is not a criticism or being sarcastic - being 'nice' is something sadly lacking in British society these days. To see it on the small-screen is kind of like finding a safe-harbour from the awful world mankind has created outside our windows. The natural in natural history seen through the eyes of a decent man is an unbeatable combination.

          ‘Whether it’s joy or grief – or the many things in between joy and grief: financial problems, legal problems, friendship problems – the natural world is a great source of solace'
          ~ David Attenborough, 2011

        Of course you don't stay at the top of your profession for as long as he has without being the best at what you do. His presenting skills, his ability to communicate with words what he sees is second to none. He understands the drama of television, of how to draw the maximum interest from whatever he is describing and place his observations into the easily-digestable tablets that TV gobbles up.

        Attenborough is to TV what Turner was to painting. He takes what is 'there' and makes us see it in a new, beautiful light. And as TV is in most living rooms up and down the land most of us have gotten to see that genius. A pretty powerful easy charm.

        Modest he may be but that is his legacy, his reality.

        A wonderful man in his wonderful world.

        © - Paul Page (2011)


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        Time Spent
        His Life

        Sir David Attenborough, born David Frederick Attenborough in London, UK on the 8th May 1926, the younger brother of actor and director Lord Richard Attenborough.

        He never expressed a wish to act, and instead studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, graduating in 1947, the year he began his two years National Service in the Royal Navy. In 1952, he joined BBC Television at Alexandra Palace, and in 1954 began his famous Zoo Quest series. When not Zoo Questing he presented political broadcasts, archaeological quizzes, short stories, gardening and religious programmes.

        1965 saw the start of BBC2, Britain"s third TV channel, with Attenborough as its Controller. As such, he was responsible for the introduction of colour television into Britain, and also for bringing Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969) to the world. In 1969, he was appointed Director of Programmes with editorial responsibility for both the BBC's television networks. Eight years behind a desk was too much for him, and he resigned in 1973 to return to programme making. First came Eastwards with Attenborough, a natural history series set in South East Asia, then The Tribal Eye, examining tribal art. In 1979 he wrote and presented all 13 parts of Life on Earth (1979) (then the most ambitious series ever produced by the BBC Natural History Unit). This became a trilogy, with The Living Planet (1984) (TV) and The Trials of Life (1990).

        His services to television were recognised in 1985, and he was knighted to become Sir David Attenborough. The two shorter series, The First Eden and Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives were fitted around 1993's spectacular Life in the Freezer (1993), a celebration of Antarctica and 1995's epic The Private Life of Plants, (1995), which he wrote and presented.

        Filming the beautiful birds of paradise for Attenborough in Paradise in 1996 fulfilled a lifelong ambition, putting him near his favourite bird. Entering his seventies he narrated the award-winning Wildlife Specials (1997), marking 40 years of the BBC Natural History Unit. But he was not slowing down, as he completed the epic 10-part series for the BBC, The Life of Birds (1998) along with writing and presenting the three part series State of the Planet (2000) as well as The Life of Mammals (2002). Once broadcast, he began planning his next projects.

        He has received honorary degrees from many universities across the world, and is patron or supporter of many charitable organisations, including acting as Patron of the World Land Trust, which buys rain forest and other lands to preserve them and the animals that live there.

        He was married to his wife, Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel, from 1950 to her death in 1997. They had two children.

        He lives in Richmond, Surrey.

        David Attenborough Dvds/Books @ amazon.co.uk
        David Attenborough Dvd/Book Reviews

        © - Paul Page (2011)

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        Trivia
        Random

        In 2010, whilst workmen built an extension at the Richmond home of Sir David Attenborough, they unearthed a skull in his garden. It is almost certainly that of Richmond resident, Julia Martha Thomas, murdered in 1879 by her maid, Katherine Webster. More on this story can be found here.

          His beloved Jane died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage in 1997. When she slipped into a coma, he was in New Zealand making The Life Of Birds. He flew across the world to be with her and just about made it back in time.

        A dinosaur, the Attenborosaurus, has been named after Sir David.

          2011: He has 2 children both in their 50s, Robert, an anthropologist in Australia and Susan, a teacher who lives in Woking.

        His boyhood hero was Captain Scott, the Antarctic explorer.

          In 2010, at the age of 83, he arrived at the North Pole just six weeks after reaching the South Pole. He was filming a new series of Frozen Planet. While filming he and his crew were trapped in the freezing Arctic circle after his flight home was grounded due to the cloud of Icelandic volcanic ash.

        He believes there is 'very convincing' evidence that yetis exist. Speaking in 2009 he said:

          'I'm baffled by the Abominable Snowman - very convincing footprints have been found at 19,000ft. No-one does that for a joke. I think it's unanswered'

        On not being able to halt climate change he said: 'We can never go back, there's no doubt about that... it's the speed at which we're changing. Before, it was thousands of years and now it's decades... but we can slow down the rate at which we change.'

          In 2009, Titus, known as the Gorilla King, died. Titus, probaly the world’s best loved and most studied gorilla, first hit the screens in 1979 when he clambered over David Attenborough’s back. He became a firm family favourite after his starring roles in Gorillas In The Mist and had his life story chronicled in the BBC2 documentary the Gorilla King.

        He lives alone surrounded by tribal artefacts and ethnic paintings in a handsome Edwardian house in Richmond-upon-Thames.


        Gallery
        I M A G E S


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        David Attenborough | Enlarge Image

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        Little Pieces of 'Common' Wildlife: Waddon Ponds - A Secret Garden in a Grey Metropolis


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        []  David Attenborough's First Life [DVD]  []
        []  The Life Collection David Attenborough (24 Disc BBC Box Set) [DVD]  []


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