Attenborough’s broadcast career began in 1952 when he joined BBC’s Talks Department at Alexandra Palace. Prior to joining the BBC, he was in the Royal Navy.
Sir David took his first international flight in 1954. He claims not to suffer from jet lag, arguing it is partly psychological. He makes a point of being in bed by 11:30.
Sir David had a distinguished career as an exec. In 1965, he became controller of BBC2 and was responsible for the introduction of color television into Britain. In January 1969, he was appointed director of programs with editorial responsibility for BBC1 and BBC2.
He doesn’t enjoy travel for its own sake. It’s what he does to get to what he treasures – wildlife. That said, one country he would like to visit is Tibet.
Pet hates: He doesn’t approve of sunbathing and doesn’t drive a car. (Rather than pass this off as the eco-warrior within, he admits that he just hates driving.) He can put up with most creatures, but hates rats.
He’s managed to avoid most tropical illnesses (bar the odd dodgy stomach), but once woke up at home in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. He thought he had contracted malaria until he learnt his wife, Jane, bought an electric blanket in his four-month absence.
Attenborough has done a lot of interviews. The questions that frustrate him most: ‘What are you going to do next?’ and ‘What was your most exciting moment?’ Ask those at the end of the interview.
Sir David was knighted in 1985 and given the Queen’s Order of Merit in 2005. He is a trustee of the British Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and president of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation.
In another life he would have liked to have been an anthropologist, or the great voyager Captain Cook – exploring genuinely uncharted territory and discovering new species.