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Attenborough’s Ark: a Natural World Special

Sat Mar 22, 8.30-9.30pm, BBC2

Few names are as synonymous with quality television as David Attenborough, and ‘Attenborough’s Ark’, first shown last November, is a worthy addition to his stunning body of work. Despite the slightly gimmicky premise (Attenborough chooses the ten species he would save from extinction), the result is still surprising and impressive, if not as spectacular or as ambitious as many of his previous projects.

With the exception of the Sumatran rhino, there are few obvious choices to enter this Ark, one composed by a true connoisseur of the natural world. Whether it’s the bizarre, virtually featureless olm, the primitive solenodon or the spectacular and aptly named marvellous spatuletail hummingbird, there’s a whole menagerie of creatures on display. Attenborough’s enthusiasm is still incredibly infectious, and his sheer, unfettered joy when a black lion tamarin takes a grape from his hand is a touching reminder of the affection and love he has for the natural world.