Sir David Attenborough’s Greatest Moments Celebrated On His 95th Birthday
With today, May 8, marking Sir David Attenborough’s 95th birthday, we at UNILAD felt it was our duty to remind people why the man is a national – if not global – treasure.
Whether it’s receiving two knighthoods throughout his career or creating dozens of outstanding documentaries, there’s no denying that Attenborough has done a world of good for the globe – and our hearts.
At the centre of Attenborough‘s work is global warming and animals. Had it not been for some of his documentaries, some animals would have never received the recognition they have, and global warming would have probably stayed low on many people’s lists of priorities.
From Blue Planet and A Life On Our Planet, to Frozen Planet and Dynasties, the 95-year-old’s programmes have captured the attention of both young and old.
So, with no further ado, here are just a few of the moments that Attenborough deserves to be applauded for, and the moments we fell in love with him all over again.
He’s travelled almost two million miles around the world over his lifetime
As you know, there aren’t many particularly exotic animals here in the UK – Attenborough’s place of birth – so it was inevitable that the broadcaster was going to have to travel far and wide to see the animals he wanted to and get the content his famous documentaries needed. He first began making natural documentaries back in the 1950s.
With this in mind, The Mirror predicted at the end of 2020 that Attenborough had travelled a staggering 1.9 million miles over the decades – the equivalent of flying around the world 763 times. In the process, he’s visited 94 countries and made 400 trips.
However, the 95-year-old is planning on cutting back on his travelling as, understandably, he doesn’t enjoy flying quite as much as he used to when he was younger. With Attenborough being just five years off a century and having done as much as he has, I think we can all agree he deserves a bit of a rest.
He once said ‘boo’ to a sloth
Ah yes – this. The iconic clip was part of Attenborough’s BBC documentary Life of Mammals where he can be seen climbing up a ladder to be face-to-face with a sloth, simply so he can shout ‘boo’ at it.
Describing the comically slow animal as a ‘mobile compost heap’, the video continues to show the sloth living its best life in the trees with Attenborough commentating.
If watching this moment doesn’t make your heart explode with joy, then you must be made of stone.
He joined Instagram at the age of 94 and broke records in the process
Attenborough dipped his toe into the world of Instagram at the ripe old age of 94 in a bid to raise awareness about global warming. In less than five hours, he went on to break Instagram records and accumulated a staggering 1 million followers, beating a record previously held by A-Lister Jennifer Aniston, who also arrived late to the Instagram party.
To be exact, he hit the achievement after just 4 hours and 44 minutes since his account went live, BBC News reported at the time. Since then, he’s gone to accumulate a further 5.1 million followers to date.
Attenborough’s time on the platform was short-lived, however, with his page announcing on October 31, 2020, that it was ‘a wrap for this account’. While nothing new has since been posted, you can still see his previously shared pictures and videos.
He is the only person to win BAFTA awards for programmes in black and white, colour, HD, 3D, 4K and VR
Evidently we’re not the only ones to think Attenborough’s work is fantastic – so does everyone at the BAFTAs.
The 95-year-old was given his first BAFTA award in 1961 with the Special Award, and he’s since gone on to win a further seven. His colour television award came after colour TV was introduced in the UK in 1969. Two years later, Attenborough won the Desmond David Award, followed by a Fellowship award in 1980.
In 2008 came Life in Cold Blood, which won him his BAFTA for a HD documentary, followed by an award for Flying Monsters 3D in 2010, and an award for 4K series Planet Earth II in 2017.
He’s also won several different awards for both his conservation and television work, including a National Television Award, and an Emmy, and an Order of Merit, to name a few.
The moment he lay down with gorillas as if he was one himself
The heart-warming moment that occurred in 1978 has since been described as one of the broadcaster’s most iconic moments. In the video, taken in what’s now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, he can be seen lying with two gorilla families while filming Life on Earth.
One young silverback gorilla named Pablo took a particular liking to Attenborough, and leant on him as if he were a tree.
Despite the threats wild gorillas are facing, Pablo went on to live a long life and lead one of the biggest groups on record, according to the BBC.
In an interview in 2011 where Attenborough was reshown the sweet video, he was asked was his recollection of this moment with Pablo was. He simply described it as ‘bliss’.
He’s been knighted not only once, but twice
Attenborough has received knighthoods by Queen Elizabeth II twice in his lifetime – the first of which was in 1985. Nine years prior, he’d been honoured with a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
More recently, Attenborough received a second knighthood in October 2020 and was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael And St George for services to television broadcasting and conservation. He said at the time of the announcement, ‘I am, of course, most honoured that my work should have been recognised in this way.’
Happy birthday, Sir David!
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