Sir David Attenborough Exclusive Video Interview And Transcript 2014 | Candis.co.uk
Here’s what happened when candis.co.uk caught up with Sir David Attenborough. We were lucky enough to ask the famous naturalist and broadcaster questions sent in via our Candis Fan Facebook page, and found him to be a fascinating interviewee….
Look out for Sir David Attenborough’s second series of Natural Curiosities on Sky channel Eden.
What has been your favourite animal to film and why?
Question by Carlene Jarman
DA: One of the things I found absolutely extraordinary which I didn’t know before we started doing the research and one of the researchers working on the Lifter Paper asked “did you know that there’s a frog that you can actually freeze solid all the way through so it’s as hard as a board and yet it will come to life. An extraordinary discovery, and we still don’t know a lot about it and of course it’s quite interesting when you think that you could freeze human beings and bring them back to life in another century – cryogenics as they call it. But we show the frog and we show it coming back to life.
Is there anything you haven’t been able to do in your career but would still like to?
Question by Jackey Weightman
DA: The natural world is infinitely big – no human being in half a dozen lifetimes can see all there is to see of the world. That’s the beauty of it, there’s always something new. Many times I’ve filmed lions catching wilder beast or something – it’s an astonishing sight however often you see it.
What might you have done if you hadn’t given your life to teaching us about our world?
Question by Wendy Jeffery
DA: Oh I suppose I’d have found something to do, yes. I started off thinking I was going to be a scientist, I decided I didn’t have the concentration I suppose or the patience you require to be a really good research scientist. And I thought I would work in scientific publishing, scientific publishing side of papers, academic papers and I did that for a bit and that was exceedingly boring.
Has there ever been a time when filming when you’ve thought “I’m in danger, get me out of here” and what was it?
Question by Tracey Ashburn
DA: I think that the most dangerous place I’ve been probably is in West Africa in one of those countries where there’s alot of military unrest and if you find somebody who doesn’t speak your language and doesn’t really like the look of your face and has been drinking too much and if they’ve got a loaded rifle then that’s quite dangerous. I’ve not been in danger from an elephant or a lion or anything. If you exclude germs – I mean if you want to talk of the big creature that’s caused more death and destruction in the world then I find I’m hard put to it to find someone who’s done more than the homo sapiens.
Do you have any pets?
Question by Emma West
DA: I used to have lots and lots of pets. I used to have a pythons, chameleons, humming birds, monkeys, tropical fish and parrots – lots.
I used to go on exhibitions in the 50’s to collect animals for this institution, London Zoo. How I ended up doing that is another story! But I did and I used to bring back maybe 150 animals which I’d been looking after for three months and sometimes there would be an animal that perhaps was sick or the zoo didn’t particularly want it or perhaps I’d had a particular bond and I would keep them at home with the children.
“Wow – you kept pythons at home with the kids?”
If you cold retire to any place on earth, where would it be? Richmond, where you currently live?
Question by Bernie Frost
DA: I’ve lived there for six years in the same house and it’s close to the park, the biggest park in London and the biggest slab of wildlife in London. There’s the river, which is a great boon and then there’s Kew Gardens, the finest botanic gardens in the world and one of the earliest, what else do you want?
What innovations in science and the natural world interest you?
Question by Blake Jackson
DA: Science is proceeding at an extraordinary pace. When I started making programmes and certainly when I was at university nobody believed that the continents drifted around the surface of the earth. Now that’s not only accepted but the absolute basis for understanding volcanoes, tsunamis, the distribution of Australian fauna compared to the European fauna – you can’t make sense of the world now without knowing that sort of thing and that’s happened in my life time. The discovery of DNA, we didn’t know about DNA when I was an undergraduate.
Who could ever replace Sir David Attenborough, when you decide to retire?
Question by Kizzy Bean
DA: A million people! A million people!! And it’s a question really not of the people it’s the fact the television editors and controllers and so on really want that kind of programme. There are bags of people who can do what I do – the only reason I’m doing it is because I, back in the 1950’s, was filming a man from London Zoo who was going to introduce things in West Africa. We filmed but then he couldn’t do the studio presentation because he was very ill and I did it, that’s all. There was nobody else in 1954 who was particularly interested in appearing with animals on television. I was on the staff of the BBC, the boss of the BBC said “well he’s ill – ok you’d better come down from directing the cameras in the gallery – you’d better do it. I said ay ay yes sir – that’s what you said in the BBC in those days. And so I did but it wasn’t against competition. I mean, if I started now there are over a thousand people, there must be, who can do the job as well as me. But I just feel sorry for those people who want to do my job, I’m still around – they’re probably saying “why doesn’t he move over?” you know – “give us a go mate!”
Read more from this exclusive interview in the March issue of Candis Magazine by subscribing at candis.co.uk