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'God of wildlife presenters' Sir David Attenborough turns 90

Published 08/05/2016

File photo dated 11/02/50 of Sir David Attenborough (left) with his wife Jane Oriel and older brother and film actor Richard Attenborough at St. Anne's Church, Kew Green. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. PA Wire
File photo dated 11/02/50 of Sir David Attenborough (left) with his wife Jane Oriel and older brother and film actor Richard Attenborough at St. Anne's Church, Kew Green. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. PA Wire
File photo dated 03/06/55 of Sir David Attenborough holding his son Robert, whilst looking at an animal called a coatimundi, brought home from the combined London Zoo - BBC expedition to British Guiana. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. PA Wire
File photo dated 02/01/56 of Sir David Attenborough with six-year-old Michael Webb of Kingsbury pets a Capybara after Sir David had lectured to children on the 'Zoological Expedition to British Guiana' at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. PA Wire
File photo dated 07/12/57 of Sir David Attenborough with his three-year-old daughter Susan, as they cover their ears while sulphur-crested cockatoo Georgie lets out a piercing shriek. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. PA Wire
File photo dated 28/04/58 of Prince Charles with his sister Princess Anne meeting Sir David Attenborough and Cocky, the cockatoo brought back from his last Zoo Quest expedition, at the BBC Television Studios in Lime Grove, London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8.PA Wire
Undated BBC handout photo of Sir David Attenborough in the 1960s. BBC/PA Wire
File photo dated 05/03/65 of (left to right) Mr. Michael Peacock, Controller of BBC 1, Mr. Huw Wheldon, Controller of Television Programmes and Sir David Attenborough, Controller of BBC 2, at the BBC Television Centre, White City, London. Sir David has been hailed as "a god of wildlife presenters" on his 90th birthday.PA Wire
File photo dated 29/04/66 of Sir David Attenborough receiving the Zoological Society of London's silver medal from the president, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the annual general meeting in London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. PA Wire
File photo dated 30/07/85 of Sir David Attenborough after being knighted by the Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace, London, with his wife Jane (right) and daughter Susan. The broadcaster and naturalist has been hailed as "a god of wildlife presenters" on his 90th birthday. PA/PA Wire
Undated BBC handout photo of Sir David Attenborough with an armadillo from 'Attenborough's Animals' in 1963. BBC/PA Wire
Undated BBC handout photo of Sir David Attenborough leaning on film cans, taken in 1962 when he was head of the Travel and Talks department. BBC/PA Wire
File photo dated 15/02/90 of Sir David Attenborough (left) with his film actor-director brother Richard Attenborough next to the portrait of themselves unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in London by Norfolk artist Ivy Smith. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. SEAN DEMPSEY/PA Wire
Undated BBC handout photo of Sir David Attenborough on the phone in 1972. Issue date: Friday April 29, 2016. BBC/PA Wire
Undated BBC handout photo of Sir David Attenborough with a lemur from 'Life of Mammals'. Friday April 29, 2016: BBC/PA Wire
File photo dated 19/10/2015 of the Duke of Cambridge with Sir David Attenborough at King's College London. The Duke has said it is fitting that Sir David and the Queen are celebrating their 90th birthdays just weeks apart as both are "incredible national treasures". Stuart C. Wilson/PA Wire
File photo dated 10/06/05 of Queen Elizabeth II presenting Sir David Attenborough with the Insignia of the Order of Merit, a personal award from the Queen recognising exceptional achievements in the advancement of arts, learning, literature and science. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. Fiona Hanson/PA Wire
File photo dated 28/05/08 of Queen Elizabeth II smiling as Sir David Attenborough gives a segment of a Christmas Lecture at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
File photo dated 12/12/08 of Sir David Attenborough talking with Chancellor of Trinity College, Mary Robinson, at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was awarded an honorary degree. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. Julien Behal/PA Wire
File photo dated 11/11/09 of Sir David Attenborough meeting fans and signing copies of his new book, Life Stories, at the Natural History Museum in London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. Zak Hussein/PA Wire
File photo dated 22/05/11 of Sir David Attenborough with the Specialist Factual award at the Philips British Academy Television Awards at the Grosvenor House, 90 Park Lane, London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. Ian West/PA Wire
File photo dated 11/09/12 of Sir David Attenborough at the UKTV Showcase held at the Saatchi Gallery in west London. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. Matt Crossick/PA Wire
File photo dated 11/07/12 of Butterfly Conservation President Sir David Attenborough with a south east Asian Great Mormon Butterfly on his nose, as he launched the Big Butterfly count at the London Zoo in Regent's Park, London. The broadcaster and naturalist has been hailed as "a god of wildlife presenters" on his 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
File photo dated 24/09/15 of Radio Times editor Ben Preston (left) presenting Sir David Attenborough with his induction into the Radio Times' inaugural Hall of Fame at the Radio Times Festival at the Green at Hampton Court Palace. The broadcaster and naturalist will turn 90 on May 8. David Parry/PA Wire
File photo dated 24/09/15 of Sir David Attenborough, who has been hailed as "a god of wildlife presenters" on his 90th birthday. David Parry/PA Wire
Sir David Attenborough sits by the Woodberry wetlands reservoir, which is now open to the public for the first time since it was built in 1833, in Stoke Newington north London. John Stillwell/PA Wire

Sir David Attenborough has been hailed as "a god of wildlife presenters" on his 90th birthday.

The naturalist enters his 10th decade as a beloved inspiration, according to the presenters of Springwatch.

Michaela Strachan told the Press Association: " I think when you think of wildlife programmes and presenters, he's God, isn't he?

"He's up there and we are all really proud of him and have all been inspired by him.

"And he is unbelievably intelligent, not just on wildlife but on many other subjects as well.

"I don't know anybody that doesn't like David Attenborough. I know lots of people that don't like us but everyone loves him."

Presenter Chris Packham, who is regarded by some as an heir to Sir David's throne, said: "He told us stories, that's the great thing.

"You'd sit down and he would lead you through that. He would lead you, he would never lecture you.

"So he invited you into his story, which he wrote and he told and you believed everything that he said. And when you started listening at the beginning, by the time you'd got to the end you learned something.

"So you took something away from that and that was, I think, the great legacy of his early programmers. You went somewhere with someone you trusted.

"You learned a lot and it was a wholly enjoyable experience because you could sense that he was so passionate about it."

Martin Hughes-Games said he had fond memories with the broadcaster, adding: " I made a programme with David and it was about an earwig.

"It was just a half-hour programme about an earwig and David was absolutely fascinated by it. I think that is one of the secrets, he has enjoyed learning and discovering things all the way through his life."

Roving reporter Iolo Williams added: "He's a fabulous communicator, bar none, and when he went to see Barack Obama it was as if Obama was in awe of him."

Sir David joined the BBC after serving in the Royal Navy from 1947 to 1949. He was initially discouraged from appearing on screen because his bosses thought his teeth were too big but he launched his Zoo Quest series in 1954.

He has since fronted a string of spectacular series including Life On Earth, The Living Planet, The Trials Of Life, The Blue Planet and Planet Earth.

Now one of the world's most famous naturalists, he turns 90 on May 8.

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