If there’s one voice that reminds me of my childhood, it would have to be the voice of British naturalist, Sir David Attenborough.
For six decades he has been at the forefront in presenting natural history programs around the world. So what exactly is it about David Attenborough that makes him a legend in his field?
There are many factors: his sincerity, his activism, and innovation are just a few. A number of writers have already nailed my opinions before me:
|He is the first known broadcaster to have treated his subjects with a great deal of sincerity, researched latest discoveries, gained the trust of the scientific community, introduced innovative shots, focused on events and consciously restricted his on-screen presence.
…This broadcaster is the only person to have won a BAFTA in black and white, color, HD & 3D.
|Attenborough said: “Life on Earth got 17 million viewers on first showing and hundreds of millions since.”
…The series is still remembered today for his close encounter with mountain gorillas, which was voted one of the 100 greatest TV moments in 1999.
|Sir David Attenborough and a group of broadcasters, conservationists and MPs have called on the Chinese president to end his country’s ivory trade and save African elephants from extinction… “Those who look the other way [on the wildlife trade], or spend the illicit proceeds of these crimes, must be held to account,” Attenborough said. From the open letter to Xi Jinping:
“China has a long history of compassion and reverence for all forms of life and the natural world, a tradition reflected in the recent introduction of the concept of animal welfare in China’s 1989 Wildlife Protection Law, signaling a major advance in global wild animal protection… The elephants of Africa are dying in their tens of thousands every year to provide ivory for misguided consumers in China and elsewhere. Without your help, they will continue to perish and be pushed towards extinction.”
Although approaching his 89th birthday, in a “Coolest Men on the Planet Poll,” he reached 7th place out of 25, coming in over the likes of James Dean and Leonardo DiCaprio.
So what is it that makes him cool?
|John Sewell, spokesman for OnePoll.com, said: “This is a really eclectic list of men. It shows that you don’t necessarily have to be young and in vogue to be considered cool. What one person deems as cool will be very different to that of the next person, but it’s great to see established professionals like David Attenborough in the mix with rappers, footballers and film legends.”|
His legendary influence is immortalized in scientific discovery.
|Last month a newly discovered species of beetle was named Trigonopterus attenboroughi, in honor of Sir David Attenborough. Alexander Riedel, the researcher who discovered the 2.14mm-long species, said he called the beetle after Sir David because he enjoyed watching his television programs so much as a child.|
It’s not the first time Attenborough has had a species named after him.
From spiders in Australia to grasshoppers, shrimps, rat-eating plants in the Philippines, and a whole genus of endangered plants from Gabon, there are a variety of species that bear the naturalist’s name.
Being close to 90 and recently having had a pacemaker installed, does he have any intentions of slowing down?
Daily Mail writer Alasdair Glennie says not:
|The year before, he had a knee replaced, and he has admitted he finds it hard to walk for more than 15 minutes at a stretch. But he told Radio Times at the time: “I don’t ever want to stop work.”Sure, something’s going to wear out some time and I won’t be able to do it, but while I can—and people want me to, and people look at the result—I’m delighted to work.”If I was earning my money by hewing coal I would be very glad indeed to stop. But I’m not; I’m swanning around the world looking at the most fabulously interesting things. Such good fortune.”|
I was once told a saying from an Australian Aboriginal elder:
Don’t view it as HARD work, it’s HEART work.
And that for me, sums up why Sir David Attenborough is a legend in his field.