Sir David Frederick Attenborough, born May 8, 1926 in London, the younger brother of director and actor Lord Attenborough, is the presenter of many ground-breaking and award winning BBC wildlife documentaries. Foremost among these are the trilogy of series: Life on Earth, The Living Planet and The Trials of Life. These examine the world's organisms from the viewpoints of taxonomy, ecology and adaptive fitness respectively. In addition to these series, Attenborough also presented more specialised surveys including The Private Life Of Plants, Life in the Freezer (about adaptation to cold climates), The Life of Birds, The Blue Planet (about life in the oceans) and The Life of Mammals. Attenborough also narrated the long-running half-hour nature series Wildlife on One on BBC ONE (sometimes retitled Wildlife on Two for BBC TWO, or just BBC Wildlife), but only made two or three appearances on camera.
He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and Clare College, Cambridge. He joined the Royal Navy in 1947 and, after two years' service, worked for a publishing company, eventually joining the BBC in 1952. His association with natural history programmes began in 1954 with the series, Zoo Quest.
From 1965 to 1968, David was Controller of BBC2. From 1969 to 1972, he was the BBC's Director of Programmes. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded him the Desmond Davis Award in 1970, and a Fellowship in 1979. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983 and knighted in 1985. In 1997 he was awarded doctor honoris cause by Ghent University (Belgium).
It has been speculated, that during his 50 year career at the BBC, travelling the world making natural history documentaries, David Attenbororugh has been to more places and seen more things, than anybody else on the planet.