David Attenborough: force of nature

The orangutan may be called the ‘old man of the forest’, but Sir David Attenborough runs it a close second. We put your questions to the great man



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© Rob Greig

When we asked you for questions to put to naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, the passion and knowledge behind them blew us away. Thanks to you, we got the Great Communicator discussing everything from his views on politicians and time working in BBC senior management to environmental campaigning and his favourite place on the planet – you’ll never guess where it is. (And sorry, @joolygee, we didn’t propose marriage on your behalf – but that’s only because we ran out of time.) Questions asked by Time Out’s TV editor, Gabriel Tate.

Do you think broadcasting can be too concerned about targeting niche audiences? And do you think the BBC will still exist in ten years’ time?
Michael Curle, 33, Wandsworth
‘If you mean, every now and again you do a programme which appeals to not the maximum size of the audience, that's essential. If you mean, should there be a network entirely for stamp collectors, then no. By and large, specialist channels either get folies de grandeur or go more and more downmarket. You think you’re going to turn on and have 50 choices, and we all know that’s a myth. There are about three choices, because everybody edges into the area where they think they can make money.

‘I I think the BBC will be there in ten years time. I hope it won’t be too much diminished. When I joined the BBC it was the only broadcasting organisation in this country, so what the BBC did was entirely in terms of public service. Since then the broadcasting landscape has changed.’

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals’, Friday September 20 & 27, 9pm, BBC2.

Watch a clip from ‘Rise of the Animals’

Read our ‘Rise of the Animals’ reviews

Episode one

  • Rated as: 4/5

Attenborough’s legacy is already one of the most assured and noble in television history. Yet even now, he isn’t content to coast and remains relentlessly determined to shed light, bring knowledge, vanquish ignorance. To inform, educate and entertain.

Read the full review

Episode two

  • Rated as: 4/5

There are plenty of diverting asides on everything from echidna to wallabies, as well as an intriguing theory on the extinction of giant mammals. And we never thought we’d see the day that he’d experiment on a puppy. We’ll miss him when he’s gone.

Read the full review

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