Sir David Attenborough has hailed physicist Brian Cox as his natural successor on the small screen.
Broadcasting legend Sir David, who has spent six decades bringing the natural world to television audiences, paid tribute to Cox at the annual Radio Times Covers Party at Claridge's in London.
He said: "If I had a torch I would hand it to Brian."
Sir David's career has included a stint as controller of BBC Two as well as award-winning programmes including Life on Earth, The Living Planet and The Private Life of Plants.
Earlier in the night, Cox had praised Sir David's "inspirational" example during a ceremony to mark his career.
He said: "There are many, many scientists across the world who cite David's programmes as being the original inspiration that got them into science.
"He's contributed to science, and thereby contributed to society, to Britain and indeed the world. That's what great science communicators can do.
"It's very important for us in our industry to recognise that when you do great things, as Sir David has done continually for 60 years, they genuinely make a difference to the world in which we live. Sir David, thank you for inspiring me."