TERRY PRONE: Purists may pop a vein but these penguins surely needed a pick-up

You have to stand four-square with David Attenborough on this one. Fearlessly. You simply have to defend to the death the right of his documentary-making team to rescue those baby penguins.

If you happen to have missed this shocking incursion into proper broadcasting ethics, sit back and be prepared to be outraged. Attenborough’s team was following a bunch of penguins doing their ritual march across snow for no purpose any of us can establish other than to give great footage to the BBC.

The penguins face gale-force winds, blistering blizzards, and snows that shift beneath their dual purpose feet. Those feet being used for onward propulsion but also baby-carrying. So, even on a good day, you don’t want to be a penguin living in the Antarctic. This particular day, however, was not, by any measure, a good day for the penguins, although it has to be said that for the filming crew, it was a gift. A bunch of the baby penguins fell down a crevasse, and — as the cameras showed — could not, despite their most heroic efforts, get up the steep sides of their prison in order to get on with their lives.

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