BIOGRAPHY

Sir David Attenborough is the world’s leading natural history broadcaster. His distinguished career spans some sixty years. His films and television series have won countless media awards including several British Academy (BAFTA) awards, and several international Emmy awards. His programs have been seen by audiences 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 series “Zoo Quest” which, 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 projects for television, 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 Programmes 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”, which examined 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 a year later 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 was broadcast in early 2008. In 2009, his documentary, “Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life”, marked Darwin’s bicentenary. As well as “How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?”, which looked at the issue of global population growth, in 2009 David wrote and narrated the BBC version of “The Link” and narrated the series “Nature’s Great Events”. In 2011, David Attenborough narrated the 7-part, “Frozen Planet” series for the BBC and Discovery, shown around the world.

David’s first project outside the BBC was with Atlantic Productions for the triple Emmy award-winning series “First Life”, for the BBC and Discovery Channel, which took 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”. Most recently, David has been involved in a number of multi-platform projects with Atlantic Productions, filmed in 3D for release in giant screen cinemas/IMAX theatres as well as for TV broadcast and distribution in other media as Apps, websites, and print products. The first such production, “Flying Monsters 3D has won multiple awards including the prestigious BAFTA, Jackson Hole and Wildscreen awards. The second production, “Penguins 3D” has enjoyed great success globally, (distributed to giant screen theaters by nWave Pictures Distribution). 

David was knighted in 1985, and in 2005 was awarded the Order of Merit, the UK’s highest honor. 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.