Sir David Attenborough hails BBC's 'ambition' in natural history shows
Sir David Attenborough said there is no other organisation in the world that could rival the BBC's ambition in the field of natural history programming.
The veteran broadcaster said he hopes the corporation continues to reign supreme in this area, to which BBC Director General Lord Hall quickly replied: "Yeah. It will."
Sir David was speaking after a screening of an episode of his latest series Great Barrier Reef, in which the renowned naturalist travels deep beneath the sea off the Australian coast.
Speaking about the BBC's role in making programmes such as the ones he is famed for, Sir David said: "I know that there's no organisation in the world that can tackle these things. The BBC is the only place that does it."
He added: "And I don't know any other organisation that could support what the BBC does in this field. I don't know the accounts, but I would like to think that it pays its way, because at the moment, precisely because we're the only organisation that does it, these films are shown everywhere, and my understanding is that they make a profit.
"I hope that is so. But certainly no other organisation has the ambition to do that sort of thing. And I just hope it'll go on doing it."
Sir David was taking part in a post-screening Q and A alongside Lord Hall, who prompted laughter from the audience when he quickly said: "Yeah. It will."
Meanwhile, speaking about his exploration of the Great Barrier Reef, Sir David, who turns 90 next year, said he did not find making the programme too demanding.
"Making that was a dawdle really. Honestly, I mean truthfully. You can see what going to the greatest depth of the Barrier Reef really involved.
"It involved sitting in a chair. And of course for me it was marvellous, and so I had a great time.
"It's not very, very demanding actually physically. And I'm certainly not particularly fit," he said.