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Article  •  21 September 2022


Everything you need to know about David Attenborough

All about Sir David Attenborough. Find out his age, birthplace, how many documentaries he has made and more.

Today, David Attenborough is a household name. The world-famous natural history documentary maker's career has spanned nearly six decades, contributing greatly to the public's understanding of the plants and animals that cover our vast planet. Throughout his impressive career, Attenborough has created 100+ documentaries, written a book, and inspired a love of nature in viewers and readers around the world.

Read on to learn more about Attenborough, his life and his book, A Life on Our Planet.

Personal life

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Born 1926 in Isleworth, West London, David Attenborough is 96 years old.

As a child, Attenborough was attracted to the natural world which led him to join the BBC as a trainee producer in 1952. There, he began working on the Zoo Quest series. Marking the beginning of a long-last career for Attenborough, this was his first opportunity to travel to capture rare wildlife.

Meanwhile in his personal life, he married the love of his life, Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel in 1950. Among the countless interviews Attenborough has done over his career, one, in particular, caught public attention. In an episode of Kirsty Young’s radio programme and podcast, Desert Island Discshe shared his stance on religion – a subject that many of his fans had been curious about.

‘I don't think an understanding and an acceptance of the 4 billion-year-long history of life is in any way inconsistent with a belief in a supreme being, and I am not so confident as to say that I am an atheist,’ he told the host.

His degree and qualifications

Attenborough graduated from Clare College, Cambridge with an honours degree in Natural Sciences, but his qualifications don’t stop there. Throughout his career, Attenborough has amassed 32 university degrees from institutions across the UK.

The list of universities that have awarded him degrees includes Oxford, Durham and Cambridge to name a few.

Is he vegan or vegetarian?

In his latest book, A Life on Our PlanetDavid Attenborough outlines a few ways in which we can all help reverse climate change. In addition to suggesting that we adopt more renewable energy and strive to reduce global populations, one of the key points he focuses on is eating less meat.

And, while he’s not vegetarian or vegan himself, Attenborough does try to follow his own advice.

In a 2020 interview with Good Housekeeping, he explained the changes he has made in this regard. ‘I have certainly changed my diet. Not in a great sort of dramatic way. But I don't think I've eaten red meat for months. I do eat cheese, I have to say, and I eat fish. But by and large I've become much more vegetarian over the past few years than I thought I would ever be.’

What is his most famous documentary?

According to IMDB, Planet Earth II (2016) is David Attenborough's most popular documentary.

However, it’s just one of the 100 documentaries he’s made since 1954, all of which appeal to different audiences for different reasons. His latest documentaries include

About his book: A Life on Our Planet

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If you’ve seen his documentary of the same name, you likely have an idea of what to expect from A Life on Our Planet. 

In the book, Attenborough explains the contradiction of his career. When he was young, the naturalist recalls experiencing an untouched natural world – but it was all an illusion.

By calling out what’s been happening all around us, Attenborough turns our attention to the decline of our planet’s biodiversity over the course of his career. This book contains Attenborough’s witness statement to the decline, as well as his vision for the future.

While it is confronting, the book nevertheless leaves room to move forward. Attenborough goes through the ways that he believes we can turn things around to restore our wonderful world before it's too late.

Feature Title

A Life on Our Planet
The legacy-defining Sunday Times bestseller by Sir David Attenborough - now in paperback.
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