Nearing 85, David Attenborough worries about decline of Natural History knowledge

Nearing 85 years of age, Sir David Attenborough is still going strong. His upcoming 60th anniversary of broadcasting in 2012 could have actually been last year had he not been turned down by the BBC for his first job in television back in 1950. Thankfully, the head of Factual programming, at the time, at the BBC saw something the others didn’t which, ultimately, led to one of the most amazing television achievements, LIfe on Earth, back in 1979.

Attenborough shows no signs of slowing down at the tender age of 85 with filming set to begin in October on his latest project, Frozen Planet.While the thought of celebrating 60 years of broadcasting in 2012 is a major milestone accomplishment, Sir David uses the moment prior to his upcoming series on the Poles to express concern over today’s generation of children lacking a basic knowledge of the natural history around them.

That may change, however, beginning Thursday, 20 April, when Eden, the digital television channel in the UK, teams up with the National Schools Partnership in an effort to reverse the trend. With specially recorded intros by Sir David, himself, which urge school children to “….take an interest in the world around you”, a number of Attenborough’s series will be used in the classroom, including Life on Earth, The Living Planet, Trials of Life, Private Life of Plants, Life of Birds and Planet Earth. Of the classroom project, the broadcaster said: “I am just thrilled that the programmes I have been making for the past 60 years are used in this way.”

Speaking of Planet Earth, I can’t let this go by without still being amazed at the United States broadcast of Attenborough’s brilliant 2006 series, which was the first BBC wildlife series shown in high-definition. At last technology caught up with Sir David. For some unbelievably unknown reason, the Discovery Channel broadcast stripped the David Attenborough narration off the series and replaced with actress/conservationist Sigourney Weaver. That just wasn’t right. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

In: Odds & Sods