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David Attenborough then vs now: take a look back at his early career







Francesca Shillcock


He’s an environmental expert, activist, presenter and all-round national treasure, and now David Attenborough is back on our screens for his new show, Extinction: The Facts. His new programme is exactly what we need right now and we can’t wait to watch.

MORE: Find out what David Attenborough’s net worth is

David has long been informing and educating us on wildlife and the earth, but how did he get to where he is today? Take a look back at his impressive career, and you may not recognise him…

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David is presenting new show Extinction: The Facts

David Attenborough early career

Sir David Attenborough, 94, began his career working in the navy shortly after university, before eventually leaving in 1949 and a year later, applied for a job at the BBC working in radio. Three years later, he finally landed a job at the broadcasting house and become controller of BBC Two by 1965.

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David at the start of his career

Soon after, the broadcasting legend went on to produce and front the Life series, including Life on Earth and The Living Planet, which afforded him the luxury of travelling all over the world, studying nature, landscapes and wildlife, a subject he still explores to this day.

David Attenborough later career

In later years, David’s career hasn’t slowed down. His best-known work from recent years in The Blue Planet (2001) Planet Earth (2006) and Frozen Planet (2011). Away from the BBC, David has also worked with streaming giants like Disney+ and Netflix as he seeks to spread education on climate change and wildlife to wider audiences.

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The 94-year-old has had a hugely impressive career

David has also written over 25 books and contributed to well-known titles such as Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Africa and other BBC series he has narrated. David was knighted in 1985 as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours for that year.

David Attenborough, Extinction: The Facts

David’s new show is not the first time he has explored extinct species on TV. In 2007, he created and presented Saving Planet Earth, which highlighted the globe’s most endangered species, to celebrate the 50th anniversary on the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

The official synopsis for the upcoming show reads: “With a million species at risk of extinction, David Attenborough explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all, including putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.” This is not to be missed.

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