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Daily Star - - NEWS - JAMES MOORE


SIR David At­ten­bor­ough is back with a new smash hit na­ture se­ries to wow his mil­lions of fans.


The 92-year-old is fronting BBC One’s Dy­nas­ties look­ing at the lives of five an­i­mal species: pen­guins, chim­panzees, lions, painted wolves and tigers. Here re­veals some facts about TV’s big­gest beast...

Born in Isle­worth, west Lon­don, in 1926, he grew up with two broth­ers, in­clud­ing film leg­end Sir Richard At­ten­bor­ough.

As a child he loved col­lect­ing newts, tak­ing them from a pond near the Univer­sity of Leices­ter, where his dad worked, and sell­ing them to the zo­ol­ogy de­part­ment for 3p each.

Af­ter get­ting a de­gree in nat­u­ral sciences from Cam­bridge, he was in the Royal Navy be­fore train­ing as a TV pro­ducer – even though he didn’t own a telly and had only seen one show.

Early in his ca­reer a BBC memo stated that he should not be put in front of the cam­eras be­cause his teeth were too big.

At­ten­bor­ough got his break on Zoo Quest when an­other host fell ill. He has since been in­volved in mak­ing more than 100 pro­grammes in­clud­ing Life On Earth, Planet Earth and Blue Planet.

For the Life Of Birds show alone he chalked up 256,000 miles of travel. Yet he doesn’t own a car and hasn’t passed a driv­ing test.

The fa­ther of two de­scribed him­self as “lost” af­ter his wife of 47 years, Jane, died fol­low­ing a brain haem­or­rhage in 1997.

He vis­ited the North Pole, aged 83, mak­ing him the old­est per­son to have done so.

As con­troller of BBC Two in the 1960s he in­tro­duced tele­vised snooker and ap­proved the com­edy se­ries Monty Python’s Fly­ing Cir­cus.

Some 15 species of crit­ter have been named af­ter him in­clud­ing a car­niv­o­rous plant and a par­a­sitic wasp as well as an ex­tinct rep­tile – the At­ten­borosaurus.

He has 32 hon­orary de­grees from Bri­tish uni­ver­si­ties – more than any­one else – and is the only per­son to ever win Baf­tas in black and white, colour and 3D TV.

Sir David is de­ter­mined to keep on mak­ing tele­vi­sion shows de­spite hav­ing a pace­maker. He says: “If I can make pro­grammes when I’m 95, that would be fine.”

¬ÊDy­nas­ties is to­mor­row, 8.30pm on BBC One

BEAKY DEVIL: Close to feath­ered pal BROTH­ERS: With si­b­ling Sir Richard AWARD: He is a se­rial Bafta win­ner

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