Favourite Attenborough Moments

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Favourite Attenborough Moments is the name of a television poll conducted by the UKTV Documentary channel in 2006. The poll called on members of the British public to vote for their favourite moment from Sir David Attenborough's 50-year career in broadcasting.


The format consisted of two programmes. My Favourite Attenborough Moment was the first, broadcast on 15 April 2006. Celebrity admirers of Attenborough's work (including Joanna Lumley, Björk and several presenters and producers from the BBC Natural History Unit) introduced a shortlist of twenty highlights from Attenborough's nature documentaries and advocated their particular favourites. The second programme, Your Favourite Attenborough Moment, counted down the same twenty clips in the order of votes received from the viewers. It was broadcast on 7 May 2006, the day before Attenborough's 80th birthday, and featured interviews with Attenborough in which he described the experiences of filming them.


The results are summarised below. The winning sequence was the lyrebird featured in The Life of Birds, which polled almost a quarter of the 13,000 votes cast. The mountain gorilla encounter from Life on Earth came second with 17% of the votes and the blue whale sequence from The Life of Mammals was third with 15%.[1]

Rank Sequence Series Advocated by
1 Attenborough observes a lyrebird mimicking various noises The Life of Birds Bill Oddie
2 A close encounter with mountain gorillas in Rwanda Life on Earth Sanjeev Bhaskar
3 Attenborough watches a blue whale surface alongside his boat The Life of Mammals Alan Titchmarsh
4 His description of the demise of Easter Island's Rapa Nui civilisation State of the Planet Charlotte Uhlenbroek
5 Chimpanzees using tools to crack nuts The Life of Mammals Charlotte Uhlenbroek
6 Attenborough in shot with a grizzly bear fishing for salmon The Life of Mammals Steve Leonard
7 Luring a Magellanic woodpecker by imitating the sound of it drilling a hole The Life of Birds Ray Mears
8 Tripped up by a displaying male capercaillie The Life of Birds Bill Oddie
9 Chimpanzees wading through water on two feet The Life of Mammals Gavin Thurston
10 Observing a male Vogelkop bowerbird's display "Attenborough in Paradise" Joanna Lumley
11 Watching elephants mining salt in a Kenyan mountain cave The Life of Mammals Joanna Lumley
12 Tracking chimpanzees as they chase and kill a colobus monkey The Trials of Life Alastair Fothergill
13 Mexican free-tailed bats leaving a cave and Attenborough releasing one of their young The Trials of Life Rory McGrath
14 Attenborough defends himself from a bellowing bull elephant seal Life in the Freezer Björk
15 A wandering albatross chick and its parent Life in the Freezer Ellen MacArthur
16 The mass migration and spawning of 100 million Christmas Island red crabs The Trials of Life Simon King
17 Attenborough hoists himself into the forest canopy to watch gibbons at close quarters The Life of Mammals Steve Leonard
18 Burrowing under a termite mound to demonstrate its cooling system The Trials of Life Björk
19 Describing the titan arum, a contender for the world's largest flower The Private Life of Plants Alan Titchmarsh
20 Illustrating plant aggression using innovative timelapse footage of brambles The Private Life of Plants Rory McGrath

Many of the shortlisted clips are available on the BBC Earth Youtube channel. The lyrebird clip has been viewed more than 3 million times since it was first made available.[2] Web users in the UK can also find them, along with many other clips, in the David Attenborough's Favourite Moments collection on the BBC Wildlife Finder.


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