Talk:David Attenborough/Archive 1

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Recent Telegraph Interview

There might be a few things worth putting in the creationism section here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


I agree the topic of evolution and creationism needs to be culled. It is both contradictory and irrelevant. We seem to have snippets in it that cast doubts on Attenborough’s views on evolution, yet given his background in UK science it is unlikely that he gives creationism even a second thought.

I have lived in the states now for 6-years and it is my experience is that these comments likely have a US origin, since few of us elsewhere in the world are as feverish about this debate as they are here. The reality is that, for most of us, it ended decades ago with the widespread adoption of evolution as the most logical reason for the development of life.

The fact that nearly a THIRD of this article is devoted to Attenborough's views on creationism shows what a sad, crazy world we live in. This section can only be there either to appease or to persuade fundamentalist lunatics. Let's remove it, or at least drastically reduce it. What say you?
I agree that the subject takes up a disproportionate amount of the article, but it's an important topic and shouldn't be reduced. Instead, a lot more should be added, both about his views on other topics and about his work in general. I've had this on my to-do list for a while, but will bump it up and try to add some material over the next few days. Perodicticus 08:35, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
It's especially irrelevant here because creationism vs evolution isn't really a mainstream debate in the UK any more, and hasn't been for many decades. Attenborough's programmes were NOT made amidst a debate on such a topic. I've had religious education at several different UK schools during the 80s and 90s and at no point did they ever postulate creationism, the RE teachers (and priests who spoke to us) were from several denominations and had all disowned it in favour of evolution, in keeping with mainstream Christianity in the UK. I suspect this topic has been added here because of its prominence in the United States where creationism has a much tighter hold over various religious and educational bodies, or because the people who added it are especially pro or anti creationism. I also suspect this is why Attenborough doesn't mention evolution as overtly as some people expect because he takes it as read, especially when you consider that his first major series, Life On Earth, was entirely about evolution!

It's incredible, we have to address this issue on every bloody article that is remotely related to science. I wonder when people will accept that evolution is one of the most firmly proven scientific theories of all time, and if you're going to shrug it off you might as well go back to beliving the universe revolved around the Earth. Logic brothers!

It seems to me reasonable to mention Attenborough's published views on creationism and evolution given that he is a prominent (probably the most prominent) public broadcaster dealing with the natural world, and he has spoken about these matters himself. But readers should be aware that that 'controversy' is much greater and more public in the USA and perhaps other parts of the world than it is in Attenborough's native UK, and so I've added a sentence about that. (Here in the UK, the vast majority of religious people subscribe to the mainstream belief known as theistic evolution, but perhaps the real point is that the small minority of the UK population who are christian fundamentalists do not have any kind of public platform other than their own publications and a handful of privately-estabished schools.) Anon editor, 05 July 2006.
I agree the with the first guy. The amount of time devoted to creationism/religion in this article is unbelievable. It takes up same amount of space as his views on conservation! Could we please try and retain a sense of perspective - as the original poster says, almost every article which relates to science is including information on creationists. In the end, this is only going to end up giving some users the impression there really is a huge scientific controversy. A few sentences, at most, on his speaking out on creationism is enough. Putting his name to a handful of statements doesn't qualify him as an activist, and it pales in comparison to his other work. Could we please take a vote on this or something, because as it stands I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in thinking what we have at the moment is excessive. JF Mephisto 20:13, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
It's not just pro-creationism people who bring this up, it's also active anti-creationists who want to make some common sense widely-accepted fact into an artificial scrap between science and religion. For the vast majority of religious people in Britain there's no conflict at all on this issue, for most people in Britain evolution is definitely the way things physically happened whether they think there was a god behind it or not.

The first paragraph of this section says that he is agnostic, so what is the point of the references to creationism? This is all unreferenced hearsay and I think the whole section should just be deleted. --Mdhowe 02:15, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Article says:

  • "Among the programmes he introduced were Match of the Day, Pot Black, The Likely Lads..."

Would it be better to say commissioned? When I first read the sentence I took it as meaning he was presenting Match of the Day in a sort of Des Lynham role. Then I saw Likely Lads and knew that couldn;t be right, but I still entertained the idea he was mnerely a continuity announcer. --bodnotbod 01:50, September 6, 2005 (UTC)

Agreed – I've gone ahead and made the change. Angmering 01:10, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
The list needs to be checked; I believe The Forsyte Saga was actually commissioned by his predecessor (though first aired during Attenborough's controllership) and Pot Black was commissioned by his successor. -Bonalaw 08:09, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I've now removed those, along with Horizon, which had not only been commissioned but actually began airing before Attenborough tok over as Controller. --Bonalaw 12:18, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Article says: "He is best known for writing and presenting the eight "Life" series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of all terrestrial life."

Firstly, I think it is innacurate to suggest that any documentary on life on earth is "comprehensive" when clearly this is impossible, something that is mentioned from the first series onwards when it is stated that large proportion of species are unknown.

Secondly, the wikipedia article on "terrestrial animals" defines them as those that live on land as opposed to water, and this is one of the accepted definitions of terrestrial. Although the word can be used to mean "representing the earth as distinct from other planets" this is a source of confusion.

Perhaps better words would be "extensive study" or "definitive review of living organisms". I think it can be taken as read that life on other planets falls outside his mainstream remit for now, but if you were desperate for an adjective then "terraqueous" is a lovely word that fits wikipedia's preference for the "mot juste". It might be nice to mention that they are approached by ecosystem and by taxonomic class.

However, I do think it's important that in the introductory paragraph you should find a way of expressing that a defining characteristic of these series is their uniformly groundbreaking filming techniques. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


Please help us, at Talk:Bible scientific foresight, where we are having to argue that almost all naturalists believe that lions kill their prey by biting, rather than attempting to strangle their prey. (The discussion is about whether naturalists believe that lions strangle their prey, or whether this is a ridiculous minority viewpoint amongst naturalists) Clinkophonist 12:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

You do know this isn't Sir David's user page, don't you? :-) Perodicticus 14:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone know the maiden name of Attenborough's late wife? He doesn't mention it in his autobiography. The sentence about his marriage is phrased a bit awkwardly because I don't know it. Perodicticus 15:40, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Never mind -- got it. Perodicticus 17:00, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Widely Traveled

I've read before that Sir David is the most traveled human being in history. It certainly seems quite likely, given his jobs as zoo collector and show presenter, but I'm not sure how to add this info since it's unproven and probably unproveable. Any thoughts? Matt Deres 03:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

How about: "Interviewers quip that Attenborough may be the most traveled person ever [1]." ? Joe D (t) 03:32, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Or, "In Life On Air the BBC claimed Attenborough is probably the most traveled person on Earth [2]."
Or a combination of those. Joe D (t) 03:35, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I've heard the same statement made about John Paul II -- as Matt Deres points out, this sort of claim is probably impossible to quantify or prove. However, it has been made often enough that it should probably be mentioned. Perodicticus 09:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
One of the reasons for this belief isn't necessarily his actual personal mileage but the ground-breaking globe-trotting style of his programmes, where he would start a piece to camera on one continent, then finish it on another, giving the impression that he'd simply strode from one part of the planet to the other in the blink of an eye. It seems obvious now but was quite remarkable at the time apparently, and is mentioned in the article itself.


Does anyone know if he writes his own books? I was wondering how much coverage to give them. Life on Air in particular is a delight. Perodicticus 09:32, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't have Life on Air yet, but none of the books I do have list any sort of co-author.Matt Deres 11:34, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I have Life on Air. There is no co-author. Paul Magnussen (talk) 18:04, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Guardian interview

Someone with more familiarity with the man than I might want to make use of the interview published in todays Grauniad, available from,,1713421,00.html

  • Oops, forgot to sign Modest Genius 01:18, 20 February 2006 (UTC)


I know this isn't really on topic, but I have to say it:

David Attenborough is one of the greatest figures in television in all history, that is without a doubt, and has created or played a key part in the creation of some of the great... works of all time, quite honestly, when you think of such pieces as Life on Earth and the Ascent of Man (which he sparked).

This man educated an international generation, and continues to do so at age 80. When he dies, I'm gonna demand some kind of iron-cast statue in Whitehall somehwere, because he is without of a doubt one of the greatest living Britons today, indeed of all time, and perhaps one of the most important figures in science when it comes to proliferating public understanding.

Hats off.

I totally agree with that. Well said!

Religion and creationism

in a relatively recent (since december 2005) programme, Sir David activley criticised creationism and intelligent design. it was either a documentry about the intelligent design court case in america, or a programme about creationism presented by richard dawkins. i had copies onmy computer but i deleted them, but they would be good for direct quotes

(Mikey 17:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC))

It is only on Wikipedia that I read that David does not explicitly use the word Evolution, I have seen quite a few of his recent documentaries and he uses the words evolution a lot many times.

Also in programme screened in Apriil (although it may have been a repeat) he also critised creationism in a chat show, possibly Parkinson or Jonathan Ross, I can't remember. Elephant Juice 23:06, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

His first major series Life On Earth was entirely about evolution! How people can claim he doesn't mention it escapes me, it's what his career is built upon. I suspect there's something of an influence here from the American media where the "evolution vs creationism" debate is still alive, a debate which died long ago in Britain. It's simply taken as read among most quarters in the UK that evolution is the mechanism for creating life, I think that's the main reason why Attenborough doesn't pay it any particular attention, because it would be like going on about the sky being blue or grass being green, it's simply not up for debate any more (or it wasn't until some fundamentalists started importing silly ideas like so-called intelligent design.
Just to note, I just finished watching Life in the Undergrowth, and he repeatedly mentions the word evolution in every episode. Since his work revolves around understanding the way that life develops through evolution, it would be a bit daft if he avoided saying it!--Jackyd101 07:13, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I chopped this para from the section as it is entirely unsourced and doesn't seem to have much point.

Attenborough's documentaries exposed millions to the diversity of life on Earth, including, of course, viewers who subscribe to the belief that all life was spontaneously created by a God, known as creationism. In his series, Attenborough rarely explicitly speaks about the mechanisms of evolution, except in Life on Earth, which was an entire series that was specifically devoted to it. Instead, he describes the advantages of each adaptation in high detail — why flowers are shaped in a certain way, why birds and animals migrate, how mechanisms of mimicry can serve as protection or to attract insects and animals, and so forth. As such, his work has been cited by some creationists as exemplary in that it does not "shove evolution down the viewer's throat". Others have written to Attenborough and asked him to clearly refer to God as the creator of life.

Ashmoo 04:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Foster sister

I've edited the part about Attenborough's foster sister slightly, because I noticed claims appearing elsewhere on Wikipedia (and even in the mainstream media) that she had singlehandedly inspired his interest in natural history. This isn't really accurate -- by all accounts he was collecting stones, fossils, etc., from earliest childhood, and he would already have been a teenager when his family took the girls in. I think I may not have been clear when I originally wrote the passage. --Perodicticus 21:20, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


What's with the 'humanist' claim? It's been added to the opening paragraph of the article without any source or further explanation. Where did this information come from? I have heard Sir David claim to be an agnostic, but not a humanist. --Perodicticus 20:24, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

After thinking about it, I've decided to remove this claim until a source is found for it. It seems to have been added by someone with a vested interest in the subject. --Perodicticus 20:30, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
If you google "Attenborough humanism" a lot of links coming up putting him in with the movement. He's in the book "Humanist Anthology." As far as I'm aware, being a humanist and an agnostic are not mutually exclusive. I didn't put the original wording in, but I think there's a good case for it to be restored. JF Mephisto 20:13, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that "humanist" to some people means a general adjective for someone who has a belief in the importance of human beings but doesn't necessarily have any faith in a deity, but to others "humanist" means a much more specific devotion to a particular movement with a particular set of beliefs and even ceremonies (for example the singer Ian Dury actually called himself a Humanist and specifically requested a Humanist funeral service when he found he was dying). Unless you can cite an example where Attenborough himself uses that word to describe his beliefs, it's probably best not to use it on his behalf, even if other websites have done so. Simply Googling something isn't really proof of anything, you could google "terrorist" and come up with an extremely debatable list of people for example!

Fabulous Animals

There is a good article on Fabulous Animals here as it might prove useful. (Emperor 21:58, 5 July 2006 (UTC))

Biography infobox

I removed the recently added biography infobox. The only things it contained were a name (in large type) and a date of birth — both of which are already available immediately to its left. Some infoboxes enhance articles: this one doesn't. Chris 42 10:05, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Princess Diana?!

This article from The Daily Mail (I found it via a Google alert, I swear) claims that Princess Diana consulted Attenborough for advice before her notorious Panorama interview. Has anyone else ever heard of this? Sounds suspicious to me. Perodicticus 17:27, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't trust anything a tabloid writes about her. Joe D (t) 18:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Though it wouldn't be that amazing even if true - considering Attenborough had been making the Queen's christmas broadcasts for some years and was obviously a TV person whom someone like Diana could trust. - —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:39, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Musical interests

Did anyone else hear him presenting a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award to Pentangle this evening? Are his musical interests worth mentioning in the article? I believe he is an amateur pianist and took a keen interest in musical programming while at BBC2. -- Perodicticus 20:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I know he toured with St. Augustine's School in Blackburn with their musicals 'Yanomamo' and 'Ocean World', narrating on the tour and on the published audio/VHS... I've already listed this somewhere in the document.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jchurch1 (talkcontribs) 20:13, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

is it true he is retiring from documentries?

my brother said he heard this does anyone know? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Esmehwp (talkcontribs) 14:05, 11 February 2007 (UTC).

Apparently, he is now working on his last. The article references a piece in the Times as a source: [[1]]. Michaelbusch 19:07, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I think he said that he will probably stop working full time on documentries but may still create/narrate a few documentries later. Something about going into semi-retirement. Yuanchosaan 06:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
This question is answered in the article:
Life in Cold Blood is intended to be Attenborough's last major series. In an interview to promote Life in the Undergrowth, he stated: "Once I have completed the reptiles series [...] that will be enough. It would complete the survey for me. I will have given a series to every group of animals and when that is done there would be 100 or so hours of DVDs on the shelf."
However, in a subsequent interview with Radio Times, he said that he did not intend to retire completely and would probably continue to make occasional one-off programmes.
--Perodicticus 08:24, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

thanks for the info glad to know he's not retiring. all work and no DA documentaries makes jack a dull boy...Esmehwp 23:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I heard him say in an interview that his next project is on Darwin and evolution; it's Darwin's bi-centenary next year so I imagine the BBC are planning a major series on him. (talk) 22:14, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

It was recently announced that he will be returning to narrate "Frozen Earth", third in the "Planet Earth" and "The Blue Planet" series and will be lending his voice to the BBC's "Life" series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin Of Species. So there is yet more to come! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Former global warming skeptics

Dave has just been added to the Category:Former global warming skeptics but was he actually a sceptic. He never wanted to mention global warming, or preach about it as he didn't want his documentaries to be about that, but that doesn't mean he was a sceptic. I always thought that he believed it was happening but just didn't want to make his films into that sort of film. Chris_huhtalk 11:10, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

The Sunday Times in 2006 had an interview with Sir David where we recounts: "I was very sceptical", "I was absolutely convinced this was no part of a normal climatic oscillation which the Earth has been going through and that it was something else". His view is now is very different, as this ABC radio interview from 2006 shows: "... climate change is happening, no doubt, and that's been no doubt for a long time. And I also know that humanity, human beings worldwide, are contributing to climate change. I also know that if it goes on the way it is, we are in for some very bad times. We ought now to have a worldwide change in moral attitudes that you don't waste energy, because energy is produced at a cost, and to waste it is sinful."

Having said this, it's an odd category. Most scientists are "former global warming skeptics" because that is they way science works. The initial papers claiming global warming were met with a great deal of skepticism. Then as more supporting evidence came in scientists were increasingly less skeptical. Today global warming is the dominant theory, but it is not like there was a date where the "scientific consensus" changed and people who changed after that date were stamped "skeptic" on their forehead.

Also, scientific progress requires continued probing and a skeptical attitude towards whatever the dominant theory in a field is. Dominant theories used to hold that light travels in straight lines and that stomach ulcers were caused by stress. Einstein and Marshall and Warren got Nobel Prizes for showing otherwise.

This isn't to say that every challenge to a dominant theory will be successful: it's not like dominant theories are overthrown every week, or that every dominant theory has been overthrown (consider that Einstein's work undermining Newton's Laws of Motion actually strengthened Kelvin's Laws of Thermodynamics).

Well-funded lobbies seeking to discredit climate change in order to maintain their sponsors' profits seize upon any voiced skepticism of the dominant theory of global warming, misleading a public who don't realise that a healthy skepticism is the usual view of scientists towards all theories. This is a problem because it deliberately deceives the public about the methods and results of science, making it difficult for interested members of the public to reach their own conclusions; and because the current dominant theory requires a rapid and deep response if the human species is not to meet with tragedy. (talk) 16:59, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Creationism III

Now that the obvious lie that Attenborough never made references to "evolution" has been removed, I see no reason to keep a funny statement such as "in some of his recent films, he makes direct references to evolution" (Wow! full frontal evolutionism! how gross and thrilling, I'm almost dying of excitement). Of course he does, and he always has, as has every normal naturalist at least since the beginning of the XXth century. The very mention of this seems to imply that talking about evolution is a very militant and scandalous thing to do, which is plain absurd. -- 11:19, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

he also made direct references to animals... i for one am shocked. 22:16, 17 April 2007 (UTC) Elmo
Agreed. Removed. Loxlie 03:24, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Elmo: Just wanted to say "lol" -- (talk) 07:39, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Infobox quibble

"Notable prizes" is badly worded. The Order of Merit, OBE etc are never referred to as "prizes". They're honours. 01:40, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, but it can't be changed just for this one article, it will require a change to Template:Infobox scientist. I've put a comment on there suggesting it be reworded to "Notable awards", a term which should happily cover both prizes and honours. If there are no objections in a week or so I'll make the change, unless someone else does first. Vilĉjo (talk) 12:35, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Changed. Vilĉjo (talk) 15:41, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Blindness quote

Is his quote about a worm causing a boy to go blind refering to Onchocerca volvulus, which causes River Blindness? If so, we should into to it. CS Miller 13:28, 18 August 2007 (UTC)


No, the character in Springfield Up is a parody of Michael Apted who made the 7 UP and subsequent documentaries and of course is narrated by Eric Idle...No connection with the great Sir D.A. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

Animal crime scene

Animal crime scene seems to be omitted from the list of his works? Any thoughts as to why and where it might go --Hadseys 15:42, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Animal Crime Scene is one of several Attenborough projects that are missing from the article. True, it's not one of his more notable series, but it probably deserves a mention. Your question is a good one, and it raises the issue of the whole way that the 'Work' section is presented, which has niggled me for some time.
Here is a man associated first and foremost with television, yet the bibliography is the first sub-section to appear, followed by a selection of introductions and forewords to other people's books! Next, his television work is presented according to what is available on DVD, followed by an incomplete and poorly organised selection of other programmes.
In my opinion, a far more sensible way of organising his work would be to give his TV work its own section, perhaps sub-divided into series he has written and presented, series he has narrated, one-off programs he has written and presented, one-off programs he has narrated, series he has produced, etc and presented in chronological order. Then the books and introductions would follow in a separate 'Bibliography' section.
That way there would be an obvious place for Animal Crime Scene and all the other missing programmes. Cparsons79 13:25, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
As there have been no objections since my previous suggestion, I have taken it upon myself to reorganise the previously existing "Work" section into 3 new sections, "Television Work", "Books" and "Audio Recordings" and expanded the television section to include missing series/programmes. Animal Crime Scene now has a home! Cparsons79 (talk) 14:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Living with Dinosaurs?

Is 'Living with Dinosaurs' actually written and presented by Attenborough? On the web seaches that i have conducted it appears not to be so, and some early web pages that list Attenborough as presenter have been subsequently changed. It may be correct but it needs to be sourced.

--Theo Pardilla 01:45, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Nobel Laureate?

Isn't it high time a Nobel Prize was added to Sir David's long list of honours, I sincerely hope it's not awarded postumously.

Nobel Prizes aren't usually awarded posthumously. It's why Gandhi didn't get one. (talk) 05:41, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
What category?--THobern 10:23, 26 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by THobern (talkcontribs)

The Opening Paragraph

I'm not sure whether some of the content I have pasted in below from the opening paragraph are relevant at all....

'Sir David Frederick Attenborough, OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS (born on 8 May 1926 in London, England) is one of the coolest people in the world. And Haroon isnt, he just has a weird name.' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Styles and Honours

I am uncertain as to the Wiki convention here, but if the intention here is to list Attenborough's honours it should include "BA,Cantab" in accordance with his Cambridge Natural Sciences degree... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

If we were to list all of Sir David's degrees as postnominals, it'd take up several lines! The usual convention on Wikipedia is not to list degrees like that, but only to include the most important postnominals, usually ones conferred by the state such as OM, and membership of the most senior learned societies (i.e. FRS). Of course, degrees can be discussed in full later in the article. Anyway, it should surely be MA (Cantab) as Cambridge graduates get to upgrade their BA to a fake master's degree after a few years just by paying an admin fee. JRawle (Talk) 22:37, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Speaking of which: I see that he has a CBE and also a knighthood. Does that make him a KCBE? Or not? Paul Magnussen (talk) 02:25, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

No, he's a Knight Bachelor. --Old Moonraker (talk) 05:13, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation of his name

I've added pronounced Atten-burruh as every American I've heard calls him Atten-burrow, following on from that weird American thing of pronouncing burough/boro as burrow rather than burruh. It's his name, get it right! It's not that hard! (talk) 16:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

The way you've written it isn't very clear, though. If you are going to hyphenate, shouldn't all syllables be separated? Also, it implies his name has four syllables, whereas many (British) people pronounce it more as at-en-bruh with three syllables. The standard was of expressing pronounciation on Wikipedia seems to be IPA. Personally I don't like this as I don't understand the symbols, but perhaps you can look into it. JRawle (Talk) 00:49, 8 November 2008 (UTC)


i think the Views and advocacy reflects poorly on what david has said himself on the subject of his activism. it is not his intention to make his advocacy of nature prservation explicity, and i think it does the article disservice to try and measure him up to his outspokeness. he has said himself that his goal is to show people the wonders of the natural world and people's motivation to preserve nature will follow naturally. his approach is different from those tradition advocates of environmentlism in that he does not try to guilt people into action by quoting exaggerate statistics and atrocities against nature and i think this is unique and should be reflected —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Tone in the lede

I'd normally just slap a {{tone}} on this, but thought I'd bring it to discussion first. The lede is currently a pretty excessive fluffer ("the respected face and voice of British natural history programmes", "arguably the most respected natural documentarian there has ever been") - I don't think this is required. Simply providing a summary of his most important works would convey the same impression on the reader without requiring all the peacock phrases. It would also help with the length, as the lede is currently little over a paragraph long. Thoughts? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 18:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I think the lead paragraph is proportionate to the length of the article as a whole. However, I removed the "arguably" line, since there is no need for it. He is a highly respected broadcaster, but saying so once is enough. Chris 42 (talk) 19:46, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The page has 31K of prose. The lede is nowhere near the recommended length for such a long article. We should be aiming for three or even four full paragraphs of detail in the introduction. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 16:44, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


Needs better media than this. There's only one picture of him (which isn't that great for a lead picture) and no audio/video. There are plenty at Flickr if anyone cares to improve the situation, and a Commons category would be good too. There's one there that I suspect is a copyvio too. Richard001 (talk) 08:10, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

New subarticles

I have created a new subarticle David Attenborough filmography, moved the bulk of the Television work section into it and re-titled the section Filmography. I hope you'll agree that this makes the main article more readable and also provides a lot more information in the subarticle. Baguala (talk) 22:59, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Good work on the table. It's much better presented this way and helps the main article focus on only his most important works. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 13:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I have created a second subarticle Favourite Attenborough Moments and moved the results of the UKTV poll there, leaving a brief reference to it in the main article. There was no need to list the results in full in his biography. Baguala (talk) 16:28, 15 January 2010 (UTC)


theres this scene in the life of mammals where he talks with a merchant in Africa I think. What lanuages was that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

External Links Has programmes and nice images. Worth adding?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Good idea. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 18:01, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


"But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind."

A Wikilink is provided to Onchocerciasis, but nowhere in that article does it say that the parasitic worm bores through people's eyes. What it says is that "The worms spread throughout the body and, when they die, cause intense itching and a strong immune system response that can destroy nearby tissue, such as the eye."

Is this Attenborough's mistake, or a case of mistaken identity? (talk) 00:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Whoever provided the link was pretty close, but I'm going to remove it, to conform with "avoid linking from within quotes". --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:07, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

shouldn't "look around you" be prominently mentioned in parody section?

The voice is so close that I almost thought they'd gotten him to do it in spite of himself, and yet it's not mentioned at all ... It's become very popular on Comedy Central ... (talk) 04:40, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

The28wall (talk) 13:35, 9 August 2010 (UTC)09/08/10The28wall (talk) 13:35, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to request an edit for inclusion of new material to this article, as follows:

On 23 July 2010, Sir David was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) by Nottingham Trent University[3]

Thanks in advance, and apologies if this is the incorrect area in which to make this request.

Perhaps this is irrelevant due to the relative obscurity of the source, but until I realized the semi-protected state of this article, I intended to mention that the animated comedy website, which has a rather strong cult following (at the very least, strong enough to have its own wiki), seems to have parodied Sir David Attenborough's voice and speech mannerisms in their cartoon, "In Search of the Yello-Dello", which can be found here by selecting "New Version." Those who are more familiar with Sir D. A.'s voice and speech may wish to view this cartoon and decide, based on evidence, whether the "documentary narrator's" voice is, indeed, imitating him, and may wish to add this information to the page. It is not an incredibly important part of the cartoon, but it was very memorable to me when I, years after watching the cartoon, watched a documentary narrated by David Attenborough and wondered why the voice was familiar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Outliveyourself (talkcontribs) 06:48, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Droikos, 24 November 2010

{{edit semi-protected}}

In 2006 Sir David presented narrated this film about a great British eccentric, public school rebel and university drop-out who changed the way we thought about other peoples and ourselves. Called 'The Barefoot Anthopologist' it was about eccentric British Anthropologist Tom Harrison as part of a BBC4 Anthropology series. Attenborough knew Harrison well and worked with him as his editor at BBC2 in the 1950s when Harrison's own ground-breaking series, 'The Borneo Story' was commissioned.

Links relating to above: (note incorrect spelling of his sir name: one 's' in the Harrison

Droikos (talk) 16:31, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

The series is mentioned in David Attenborough filmography. I don't think it's important enough to be described at any length here. Primaler (talk) 19:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

The article refers to him as "the most travelled person on Earth" but...

The article states, "It is often suggested that David Attenborough's 50-year career at the BBC making natural history documentaries and travelling extensively throughout the world has probably made him the most travelled person on Earth.[32]"

However, this source states, "Wealthy Fred Finn, 70, holds the official record for the most miles travelled by a passenger after visiting an incredible 70 per cent of the world's 196 nations."

Lngt1124 (talk) 18:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

At the very least, the "It is often suggested" bit fails to make this an incorrect fact, indeed rendering it a truth, so long as that fact has been suggested (which it, presumeably, has been). That portion makes no claim that Sir D. A. is definitely the most travelled person on earth," but that his travels are noteworthy. and have called attention to his condition of being well-travelled. Perhaps that user's text is misleading, and a change should be made on that account, but it should likely be mentioned that he is considered to be in the running based on his ventures during the course or his career. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Outliveyourself (talkcontribs) 06:56, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


Can someone who knows please sort out the following:

  • "He is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series" (Introductory paragraph)
  • "Attenborough is known foremost for writing and presenting the ten Life series" (Filmography)

Thanks-- (talk) 14:43, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Also, he is claimed to have a younger brother Richard in the opening paragraph. David is the younger however, so Richard is an elder brother — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from GuardianXx3, 5 July 2011

I would like to add to the Parodies and artistic portrayals section of David Attenborough.

At the end of the video game Rolo to the Rescue (1992) if you beat the video game 100% the final quote is:

"Sweet dreams little Rolo junior, and if you're good, tomorrow I will tell you about the time I met David Attenborough."

So, I think it is only fair that his name be mentioned in some way with Rolo to the Rescue (1992) and the above quote. ____________________________________________________ Here is a link to a YouTube video proving this:

Thank you.

GuardianXx3 (talk) 06:58, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. I dont think that this meets the notability guidelines for inclusion. Plus Youtube is not always accepted as a reliable source. Monkeymanman (talk) 21:40, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Addition request

In the Filmography section I notice 2009 does not have "Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor: The Link" - I think it was his contribution and what he spent a lot of time on that year and was a major BBC series so even though proven to be untrue later it needs to be there unless we're only to publish things people want here rather than the full truth. The linked website is still online with no retractions so I think it important but don't have the skills to edit the page and expect some would object even though it's important and true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

This page will need updating

Keep an eye on this page - it will need updating, as he begins a new series on BBC One tonight (October 26 2011). ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:59, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I have put information on this series in there myself, but then I noticed afterwards it was already referred to in the earlier part of the section which says "Current projects". Perhaps some one could tidy up this paragraph to make it flow. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:18, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Before any one suggests we need a source for this series, try:

This is the "Frozen Planet" page of the BBC website, which should have details of the latest episode of the series. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:24, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Andrew Denton, 2003 "Interview With David Attenborough" on Enough Rope, ABC TV/
  2. ^ BBC Press Office, 2002 [Life On Air (Press Release)].
  3. ^ Stars of stage and screen among honorary graduates of Nottingham Trent University