Sir David Attenborough turns 90


Tributes have been paid to renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough who has turned 90.

CBBC wildlife star Steve Backshall said Sir David “completely transformed my view of the wild world”.

Sir David did that for me too, and much more. Growing up, it was Sir David’s journeys across the world and his science narratives that helped to keep that love of learning alive in me. Thanks aren’t enough. Happiest of birthdays to Sir David, and I hope he’s with us all a long time yet.

The BBC has a special page: Celebrating Attenborough at 90.


  1. Siobhan says

    His documentaries were the go-to aftercare activity for one of my previous kinky partners and I. Screw the fancy dates, falling asleep to his soothing exploration of the African Savanna after a night of fun was the absolute best.

  2. says

    :) He’s an amazing man, and I have loved watching everything he has done. I think I hear Netflix calling…

  3. says

    And now they are going to name the ship, originally by popular acclaim “Boaty McBoatface” after Attenborough.

    I’m a huge fan. Among his many many accomplishments, he forced dramatic improvements in photographic technology. Virtually every one of his documentaries includes photography that had never been done before.

    And, so far, he hasn’t turned out to be a misogynistic pustule, racist, or rapist. So perhaps his greatest accomplishment for me is that power, wealth, and privilege don’t always corrupt and -- in fact -- are sometimes wielded to create things of real beauty.

  4. says

    @Caine -- I recently discovered a largely overlooked Attenborough video about badgers. “badgers -- secrets of the sett” that somehow I didn’t know about. It’s on youtube.

  5. blf says

    Isn’t one of the drones(?) on the Attenborough to be named “McBoatface”?

  6. says

    (The reason I mentioned that was because Attenborough’s team developed techniques for getting endoscopic cameras into a badger’s lair without too much pissed off badger. The footage is not great because it’s monochrome infrared, but nobody has ever done anything like that before)

  7. says


    (I like badgers)

    So do I. I’ve only ever been able to photograph a badger once, but I live in hope.

  8. blf says

    I’ve only ever been able to photograph a badger once, but I live in hope.

    Seems like an easy problem to solve. After being stepped-on by a forty-foot high killer rat, you should be small enough to literally walk into a badger’s den…

  9. blf says

    [H]ow high to you have to be to come up with that idea?

    To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, “They could probably smell the curvature of the Universe.”

  10. Lofty says

    As much as I admire Sir Richard for his sterling work in popularising the natural world, I fear the most recent works he features in are too shallow to interest me. The recent televised special on the Great Barrier Reef was in the modern way a film on the Cult of The Presenter where they have another submarine/camera just to take endless shots of his earnest face staring out of sub number one. Too narcissistic for me to continue watching.

    The 1980s TV series The Living Planet was vastly better.

  11. says

    I fear the most recent works he features in are too shallow to interest me.

    He agreed to do narration for some shows that he didn’t author. I wish he hadn’t. The stuff where he scripted it and narrated it is way way better.

  12. Lofty says

    Caine, sorry, I was distracted this morning. Anyway, it’s not him, its the producers that are dumbing down his shows.

  13. says

    This dude has one of the most soothing voices EVER. His docs are among my go-to things for insomnia, and if I still can’t sleep, whatevs — I can still just zone out to the chillest voice in the world and watch the animals.

    Best birthday wishes to Sir Attenborough, may he live long and narrate moar!

  14. sonofrojblake says

    I’m old enough that I remember “Life On Earth”, the first of his BBC series. His encounter with gorillas is something you never forget, not least for his whispered commentary.

    Plus, it led to this: (the man in the gorilla suit is Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson.

  15. Dunc says

    A less widely-known fact about Sir David: In addition to his wonderful (and widely recognised) work in natural history television, he also basically invented BBC Two, so you can thank him for everything from Monty Python’s Flying Circus to Jacob Bronowski’s “The Ascent of Man”.

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