Sir David Attenborough is Britain’s best-known natural history filmmaker. His career as a natural history and broadcaster has spanned nearly seven decades. His first job—after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy—was at a London publishing house. Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954–1964) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of wildlife in its natural habitat.
He was the Controller of BBC 2 (1965–1968), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then the Director of Programmes for BBC Television (1969–1972). In 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary making and writing and established himself as the world’s leading natural history programme maker with several landmark titles, including ‘Life on Earth’ (1979), ‘The Living Planet’ (1984), ‘The Trials of Life’ (1990), ‘The Private Life of Planets’ (1995), ‘Life of Birds’ (1998), ‘The Blue Planet’ (2001), ‘Life of Mammals’ (2002), ‘Planet Earth’ (2006), ‘Our Planet’ (2019), and ‘David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet’ (2020).
Sir David was knighted in 1985 and received the Order of Merit in 2005. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and stands at the forefront of issues concerning the planet’s declining species and conservation.