To be at the cutting edge, when you know that you are doing something that no one has done before, is exciting and a great privilege. I feel hugely privileged to have started my life on 405 black and white and to finish on 3D.
Sir David Attenborough
Writer & Narrator
Sir David Attenborough is the world’s leading natural history broadcaster. His distinguished career in television spans more than fifty years. His films and series have won nearly every major award in television, including several British Academy awards, a Fellowship of the Royal Society and several Emmys. His programs have been seen by millions around the world and have received some of the highest ratings for factual programming. The DVDs of his series and his accompanying books have also sold millions of copies internationally.
David joined the BBC in 1952, initially working in the Television Talks Department. In 1954 he launched the first of his famous Zoo Quest series that, over the next ten years, took him to the wilder parts of the world. During this period, he also worked on a wide range of other programs, including political broadcasts, archaeological quizzes, short stories, gardening and religious programs. In 1965, he became Controller of BBC Two and was responsible for the introduction of color television to Britain. In January 1969, he was appointed
Director of Programs with editorial responsibility for both the BBC’s television networks. He worked in the BBC’s senior management until 1973 when he decided to return to program-making.
Following Eastwards With Attenborough, a natural history series set in South East Asia, and The Tribal Eye, examining tribal art, David wrote and presented the thirteen-part series Life On Earth, first broadcast in 1979. Internationally acclaimed, this was the most ambitious series that had ever been produced by the BBC’s Natural History Unit. In 1984 came its sequel The Living Planet, and in 1990 followed the final part of the trilogy, The Trials Of Life. He also wrote and presented two shorter series, The First Eden on the long history of humankind’s relationship with the natural world in the lands around the Mediterranean, and Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives about fossils.
Throughout the 1990s David presented natural history series that reached global audiences. His 1993 series Life In The Freezer, a spectacular celebration of Antarctica, was followed in 1995 by the epic The Private Life Of Plants. In 1996, Attenborough In Paradise fulfilled a lifelong ambition for David to make a film dedicated to the elusive and beautiful birds of paradise. In 1997, he narrated the award-winning The Wildlife Specials, marking forty years of the BBC’s Natural History Unit, and in 1998 he completed the epic ten-part series The Life Of Birds.
In autumn 2000 David presented State Of The Planet and in autumn 2001 he narrated The Blue Planet. In 2002 he presented the immensely popular The Life Of Mammals, followed by Life In The Undergrowth in 2005. In 2006 he narrated Planet Earth and presented the environmental series Climate Chaos: Are We Changing Planet Earth? David completed his ‘Life’ series with Life In Cold Blood, which broadcast in early 2008.
In 2009 his documentary, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, was broadcast to mark Darwin’s anniversary year. As well as How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth?, which looked at the issue of global population growth. In 2009 David also wrote and narrated the BBC version of The Link and narrated the series Nature’s Great Events.
For the BBC, David’s recent projects include the triple Emmy award winning series First Life, for Discovery Channel and the BBC, which takes him back to the origins of animal life. During the production, he was followed behind the scenes for a year by a film crew to make Attenborough’s Journey. He has also recently completed filming on the series Frozen Planet which is currently broadcasting on BBC One.
Most recently David has been involved in a number of 3D projects with Atlantic Productions, including the BAFTA award winning film Flying Monsters 3D, which was broadcast on Sky 3D on Christmas Day 2010, and was later shown in cinemas and giant screen theatres around the world. This was his first 3D project. Since then other 3D projects have included Penguins 3D, which follows the journey of one King Penguin from awkward adolescent to adult and was filmed entirely on location in the Sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia, and a 3D series on Kew Gardens (Kew 3D – working title), currently in production and for Sky 3D.
David was knighted in 1985. Over the years he has received several honorary degrees and a number of prestigious awards including Fellowship of the Royal Society. He has served as a Trustee of the British Museum, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and as President of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation.