Sir David Frederick Attenborough

Sir David Frederick Attenborough (/ˈætənbərə/; born 8 May 1926) is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitute a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth. He is a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, 3D and 4K.[ In 2018 and 2019, he received Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Narrator. He considers his 2020 documentary film, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, his personal witness statement of his life and the future.

Attenborough is widely considered a national treasure in the UK, although he himself does not like the term. In 2002, he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide poll for the BBC.  He is the younger brother of the late director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough, and older brother of the late motor executive John Attenborough.

Books in order of publication:


  • Zoo Quest to Guyana (1956)
  • Zoo Quest for a Dragon (1957) – republished in 1959 to include an additional 85 pages titled Quest for the Paradise Birds
  • Zoo Quest in Paraguay (1959)
  • Quest in Paradise (1960)
  • People of Paradise (1960)
  • Zoo Quest to Madagascar (1961)
  • Quest Under Capricorn (1963)
  • Fabulous Animals (1975)
  • The Tribal Eye (1976)
  • Life on Earth (1979)
  • Discovering Life on Earth (1981)
  • The Living Planet (1984)
  • The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man (1987)
  • The Atlas of the Living World (1989)
  • The Trials of Life (1990)
  • The Private Life of Plants (1994)
  • The Life of Birds (1998)
  • The Life of Mammals (2002)
  • Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster (2002) – autobiography, revised in 2009
  • Life in the Undergrowth (2005)
  • Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery (2007) – with Susan Owens, Martin Clayton and Rea Alexandratos
  • Life in Cold Blood (2007)
  • David Attenborough’s Life Stories (2009)
  • David Attenborough’s New Life Stories (2011)
  • Drawn From Paradise: The Discovery, Art and Natural History of the Birds of Paradise (2012) – with Errol Fuller
  • Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions (2017)
  • Journeys to the Other Side of the World: Further Adventures of a Young Naturalist (2018)
  • Dynasties: The Rise and Fall of Animal Families with Stephen Moss (BBC Books, 2018)
  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future (2020)
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