It is hard to imagine a time before he was on our screens, affably engaging with sloths or giant turtles. This autumn, the BBC will broadcast Seven Worlds, One Planet, the 19th blockbuster series he has written and presented.
In our fractured age, Attenborough is the closest we have to a universally beloved public figure. But Attenborough transcended national treasure status some years ago. He is a truly global figure now. So many Chinese viewers downloaded Blue Planet II “that it temporarily slowed down the country’s internet”, according to the Sunday Times.
There’s no one alive I’d rather listen to. Attenborough could read the phone book and I’d listen to it.