‘I am an im­poster’ TV leg­end thrills Lit Fest

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By MELISSA JONES

VETERAN broad­caster Sir David At­ten­bor­ough en­chanted view­ers in his cus­tom­ary style as he ap­peared as one of the head­line acts at the Chel­tenham Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val.

Fas­ci­nat­ing the au­di­ence in a packed-out Times Fo­rum, the 92-yearold spoke about his ex­tra­or­di­nary life, touch­ing on ground­break­ing series such as Life on Earth and his cam­paign­ing against the use of sin­gle-use plas­tics.

There was not nearly enough time in the hour and a quar­ter for the TV veteran, whose 2017 BBC pro­gramme Blue Planet II drew the largest au­di­ence of the year with 14 mil­lion.

Film­ing in­volved 125 ex­pe­di­tions across 39 coun­tries and pro­duced more than 6,000 hours of un­der­wa­ter dive footage.

The ex­ten­sive process took more than four years - and Sir David wrote a let­ter which reached Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping, hop­ing for an end to the plas­tic pol­lu­tion with China.

Jenny O’neill from Lon­don and her friend Gill were fas­ci­nated to hear about what re­sources the team had film­ing the ex­cep­tion­ally pop­u­lar series at Satur­day’s talk.

“It was amaz­ing to hear about the tech­nol­ogy they could use sub­merged un­der the sea,” said Ms O’neill.

“His pas­sion for the world around him at 92 was ev­i­dent, he seemed as driven as ever.”

Diane Duke, 59, trav­elled from War­wick­shire and said: “He was won­der­ful. I just think the whole jour­ney of his shows and pro­grammes bring the magic of the nat­u­ral world to ev­ery­one.

“I have seen him sev­eral times over the past 40 years and he’s a fan­tas­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tor.”

At­ten­bor­ough says he sees him­self as a fraud, af­ter see­ing so much on the planet, The Guardian re­ported from the talk.

“I am an im­poster in all kinds of ways,” he said.

“It is true, I did a de­gree in zo­ol­ogy and nat­u­ral sci­ences at Cam­bridge a long time ago, but I haven’t been ac­tive in dis­cov­er­ing new things. I am not a sci­en­tist.

Stef Vin­cent, 35, from Swin­don, said her love of his pro­grammes be­gan when she was a child.

“I like a lot of his shows but for me it started with The Pri­vate Life Of Plants.

“He made some­thing quite dull re­ally in­ter­est­ing.” melissa.jones@reach­plc.com

Sir David At­ten­bor­ough at Chel­tenham Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val Pic­tures: www. still­mov­ing­me­dia.co.uk

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