By bringing the wonders of the animal kingdom, ranging from dinosaurs to polar bears, into the homes of millions of television viewers around the globe, David Attenborough has inspired generations to learn more about the natural world. On the cusp of celebrating his 90th birthday tomorrow week, his place in the pantheon of great naturalists is already secure.
His reverential sotto voce approach to his subject, be it in the presence of an elephant or an ant, has endeared him to grown-ups and toddlers alike. His name has become a byword for learned, exciting and highly interesting TV programmes about topics of every kind, including hushed crusades to alert mankind to the threat we pose to planet Earth, our home that we seem hellbent on destroying.
Arguably, in the course his long life, he has done more than any other person, living or dead, to prevent that happening. Long before his 90th year, David Attenborough had become a global treasure.
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