National treasure, Sir David Attenborough, the genius behind wildlife documentaries such as The Life On Earth and Africa, has revealed that he would like his next project to be focussed on babies.
He doesn’t mean baby animals either, he has confessed that, despite his attention having firmly been focused on other species of the animal kingdom for half a century, it is baby humans that fascinate him more than any other subject he has studied, and there have been a fair few!
Speaking to TV Biz, the legendary film maker explained: “What is the creature that really grips your emotions, that you are continuously fascinated by? The answer is the human baby. A nine-month-old.
“Babies are fabulous. They change every day, grip your heart. I wouldn’t mind doing a show about them.”
Sir David, who along with his brother Sir Richard has entertained us for decades, was last week awarded the National Television Award for Best Documentary with his epic series, Frozen Planet. His new series, David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities starts tomorrow on digital channel Eden, his Galapagos 3D has aired on Sky 3D and will shortly be followed by Micro Monsters 3D, all the while his hugely popular series Africa is still topping all the charts, pulling in more than eight million viewers a week on BBC1.
When asked how it felt to be in such demand, he mused: “I think, ‘Cor blimey, haven’t they seen enough!’
“But since it’s such fun to make the programmes, who am I to say no? I am amazed anybody should want me to go on — but delighted. It’s such a huge piece of luck, it would be barmy to knock it back.”
“I find it very difficult to believe I’m nearer 90 than 80 and people still want me. So hurrah! Because there are people my age or younger who just sit in a corner and think about whether they want to play golf next week. I’ve never played golf in my life! ”
However, he went on to explain how he isn’t as fit as he was:
“I just had an artificial knee put in — and I just hope it’s going to be up to it. I will keep going for as long as people are prepared to pay my way — well, just allow me.
“I just can’t believe I’m that lucky. I can think of thousands of people who would give their right arm to do what I do at any time in their life, let alone in their eighties.”
When Sir David first started out in his quest to capture nature as it happens back in the 50’s, his job has become notably easier, and less dangerous thanks to the advancement in technology:
“I’ve never had any really hairy moments. It was my job to come back from a shoot and go to the BBC and not say: “In this bag of jingly things is what is left of the camera. I’ve been very very brave but we’ve not got much footage!
“I’m there to make films and by and large you want to film animals as they are, not when they are being disturbed by human beings.
“A charging animal may be sensational but it’s not the programme you set out to make.”
However, there was one hair-raising moment when he was charged at by a rhino:
“I was seriously charged while in a Land Rover. Unless I’d been in the Land Rover, I’d never have gone so close.
“But really your job is to make sure animals don’t charge you. You keep yourself unobtrusive and, with long lenses, there is very little need these days to put yourself in danger.
“You can provoke an animal to charge you but, by and large, they don’t want to — it’s a waste of energy so they will see you off and, if you’ve any sense, you will take the warning.
“I would be a disaster if anyone gave me a loaded gun.
“Who knows what would happen but you’d be very foolish to go without guides.”
On the subject of other shows on TV, which he often finds his documentaries beating in the viewing ratings, he commented:
“If you don’t learn anything from a programme it’s pretty dull, pretty trivial.
“I don’t decry EastEnders — if it’s well written you learn about the human condition — but I wouldn’t say much for X Factor. I wouldn’t watch that.”
David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities, new and exclusive on Eden, screens Tuesdays at 8pm from tomorrow (Sky 532/Virgin 208/also available in HD), watch the trailer for it in the clip below: