Sir David Attenborough’s career spans over six decades, during which time he has made some of the most influential and well-known natural history programmes ever produced.

But as he launches a new series exposing surprising facts about species you thought you knew, we turn the spotlight onto Sir David and uncover some surprising trivia on a most fascinating specimen.


  1. When Sir David accepted the offer of his first job at the BBC in 1952 he like most Britons, did not own a television and had only ever watched one TV programme.

    David Attenborough in 1954
  2. He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain and commissioned an eclectic mix of programming, including Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
  3. If you were to go around the world 10 times, you would cover the distance travelled for the making of The Life of Birds (256,000 miles).
  4. Sir David is the only person to have won a BAFTA in black and white, colour, HD and 3D.
  5. Sir David has been willing to take risks for his shows, he let himself be attacked by military ants in Africa, abseiled down a rainforest tree his late 60s and is the oldest person to set foot on the North Pole.
  6. Sir David has received more honorary degrees from UK universities than anyone else. In total he has 32 and the last one was from Queen’s University in Belfast in July 2013.

    David Attenborough collects an honourary degree from Trinity College, Dublin, December 2008.
  7. A dinosaur, the Attenborosaurus, has been named after Sir David by the Natural History Museum. A flower in Ecuador, a species of parasitic wasp and a flesh-eating plant are also all named after him.
  8. Sir David celebrated his 60th year in broadcasting in 2012 and continues to work on a number of television, film and radio projects including Natural Curiosities.

The new series of David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities started on Watch Tuesday, February 18, at 8pm.