Attenborough, David

Attenborough, David
   b. 1926
   Naturalist and broadcaster
   David Attenborough, younger brother of actordirector Richard Attenborough, joined BBC television in 1952, fronting Zoo Quest, the programme which, between 1956 and 1965, transformed the teatime wildlife show from patronizing sentimentality into serious education children’s programming. Attenborough then entered the BBC’s administrative hierarchy, where he established both BBC2 and colour transmission. His catholic tastes and scheduling instincts brought shows as varied as snooker, ‘The Forsyte Saga’ and Jacob Bronowski’s ‘The Ascent of Man’ to BBC2, establishing it as a widely appealing and innovative service. After fifteen years, however, Attenborough returned to broadcasting to complete the trilogy begun with ‘Life on Earth’, which was seen by an estimated 500 million people worldwide. Subsequent prestige series have made him perhaps the most universally popular, respected and influential broadcaster and ecologist on the planet.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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