The BBC, Sir David Attenborough, and the Natural World


What’s it all about?

50% of the human population on planet earth live in man-made environments, or cities, as we call them. However, the medium of television has enabled us to become closer to the natural world than ever before. For the past 60 years Sir David Attenborough and the BBC have graced us with a series of television programmes highlighting the natural world in all its beauty.

The Partnership

Since 1954 Sir David Attenborough and the BBC have been bringing the magnificence of nature into our homes, incorporating technological advancements along the way to ensure us, the audience, can observe nature in all its splendour.

From black and white, to colour, to HD, to 3D, the BBC has been broadcasting nature documentaries through the decades with Sir Attenborough at the helm of the operation.

In the new series, Life Stories, broadcasting tonight at 9PM on BBC One, Sir David at the grand age of 88 shows no signs of slowing down, having been a part of 21 productions since 2010 alone.

Isn’t it all just a bit of entertainment around the telly?

We, the great British public, find comfort listening to the soothing dulcet tones of Sir David, and at times find ourselves slowly transcending into a form of meditation; interrupted occasionally by squawks, howls, and the occasional whisper of our favourite presenter who is silently observing a group of adorable, fluffy creatures. We are entertained as the viewer; but is that all there is to gain? Entertainment?

Yes – but it’s more than that

Of course it is a form of entertainment, as all television programmes are. However, these programmes involve us in nature and wildlife more than ever before, highlighting conservation issues, endangered species, and the importance of the natural world in relation to ourselves. For those of us who are not familiar with these topics, Sir David and the BBC have facilitated a platform which both entertains and informs, raising awareness in the most engaging way.

It’s one of the jobs that broadcasting can do. It’s a paradox really because we are more removed from the natural world but actually through the BBC we know more about it than ever.  You talk to all kinds of people, taxi drivers, whoever, and they say ‘what’s that business about sociality between insects?‘” – Sir David Attenborough.

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Hayden Ismet


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