'Planet Earth': David Attenborough's Career Highlights

Planet Earth: David Attenborough's Career Highlights
May 8, 2020 - 12:10 / Rachel Johnson

Natural historian David Attenborough is a well-known figure from his efforts to increase awareness for the environment. Here is a look back at the 94-year-old's remarkable career!

Born May 8, 1926, natural historian David Attenborough has been leaving a positive impact on the environment for decades. David's interest with the environment started at an early age, and he was known to collect fossils and stones among other things as a young child. 

Due to David's fathers job as principal of the University College in Leicester, David spent many of his days wandering around the campus grounds. He even helped the zoology department by supplying them with newts from a local pond when he was just 11 years old! 

David Attenborough feeding lemurs in 1961

David Attenborough and the BBC

After finishing a degree in natural sciences and serving in the Royal Navy, David Attenborough was offered a job at BBC in 1952. While hesitant to appear on camera in his early broadcasting days, David succeeded on popular talks shows including quiz show Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? and his first big natural history program Animal Patterns.

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While the BBC Natural History Unit was founded in 1957, David turned down the role as it would require him to leave London and move to Bristol. David eventually resigned from his permanent position at the BBC in the 1960s to pursue a degree in social anthropology from the London School of Economics. 

David Attenborough attending Our Planet Global Premiere 2019

David Attenborough's Recent Years

While he continued to work on smaller projects for the BBC during the 1960s, including 1969 hit documentary series Civilization and the Ascent of Man, David officially resigned in 1972 to pursue a career as a freelance broadcaster.

Today David Attenborough is known for a number of successful series including documentary series Life on EarthPlanet Earth-the biggest nature documentary ever shown on television, and most recently Netflix documentary Our Planet. With such an impressive career, it is no wonder why David Attenborough is considered a national treasure in the UK!