I hope this short book throws some more light on one of the great communicators.
I have interviewed Sir David Attenborough many times, mainly for articles published in the UK broadcasting listings magazine Radio Times. These essays and shorter pieces - on subjects ranging from the world’s rarest birds to meerkats, from a strange Easter island statue to his one pet hate, the rat - are based on articles of mine first published in that magazine and on the PBS website, with additional content.
Sir David Attenborough is, by common consent, the world's master wildlife documentary presenter, the last of the great TV communicators whose career began with the birth of the medium in which he works. He has no rival and no successor whose career could possibly follow a similar path (broadcasting has changed too much for that to happen) at the BBC or anywhere in the world.
It has been a great privilege to meet and talk to the great broadcaster, and occasionally to see him at work.
I had cause to ring him on many occasions to seek a comment or a quote for an article I was writing for the UK broadcast listings magazine Radio Times. He would readily respond, breaking off whatever important writing I’m sure he must have been doing for the next series with an apposite few words.
His is a broadcasting and writing skill of the highest order, which means he can commit his thoughts directly into finished words on the page, with, I suppose, very little need to revision. Where I quote him in this book, I reproduce exactly (with the benefit of a tape recorder) the words he used. They never needed to be edited.