Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy birthday, Sir David Attenborough

(Comic by Bird and Moon)

Sir David Attenborough turns 87 today (8th May), and I thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to the man who has played an integral role in stoking my fascination for the natural world.

During my childhood and early teens, I spent many hours in the company of some of his earlier works, such as the Zoo Quest books and The Trials of Life documentary series. At an age when my peers idolised sportsmen, film stars, and singers, David Attenborough, along with the late Gerald Durrell, served as my childhood heroes, showing me the wonders that were to be found in the stunning diversity of life on this planet.

In recent years, epic productions by the BBC Natural History Unit like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Africa have shown that it is still possible to document interesting animal behaviour without showing the presenter running about and manhandling wildlife. And although there are many narrators and presenters out there, and there have been many other excellent documentaries, there is none like Sir David Attenborough. Perhaps no other person has been so iconic in showcasing nature in all its beauty and savagery, and getting people to care for the continued survival of the Earth's wild places and all its myriad species.

(Image from Fuck Yeah Sir David Attenborough on Tumblr)

I thought it would be nice to take a look at some of his notable work over the decades.

Zoo Quest for a Dragon (1956):

Life on Earth (1979):

The Living Planet (1984):

Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives (1989):

The Trials of Life (1990):

Life in the Freezer (1993):

The Private Life of Plants (1995):

Attenborough in Paradise (1996):

The Life of Birds (1998):

The Blue Planet (2001):

The Life of Mammals (2002):

Life in the Undergrowth (2005):

Planet Earth (2006):

Life in Cold Blood (2008):

Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life (2009):

Nature's Great Events (2009):

Life (2009):

David Attenborough's First Life (2010):

Madagascar (2011):

Frozen Planet (2011):

Galapagos 3D (2013):

David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities (2013):

Africa (2013):

For a light-hearted take on Sir David Attenborough's legacy, here are 9 reasons why he should be reading you a bedtime story. And if you want to have some fun while watching a documentary narrated or presented by him, how about a drinking game?

If you haven't realised it by now, we live in a wonderful world indeed. And thank you, Sir David Attenborough, for being such an inspiration.