Friday, 20 April 2012

The Man who Should be King.




If Sir David Attenborough was to call me a loathsome shitehawk with less common sense than a mollusc I would have to agree with him.  Not only because it was true but because his voice is so authoritative that it would be impossible to argue with him.

Everyone alive at this moment in the UK who has functioning hearing will have heard his voice at some point in their lives. He has narrated wildlife documentaries on the BBC since 1952 and his calm and soothing delivery is one of the most recognised sounds on British TV.

But he isn't only the world's top wildlife documentary narrator, he was also controller of BBC2 from 1965 to 1969.  During this four year period he oversaw the replacement of colour television form black and white and thanks to him classic shows such as Mastermind, Match of the Day and televised snooker were introduced to our screens. These shows are all still running on the BBC, such is their popularity.  The bloke's a genius.

My favourite Attenborough moment is from a really old black and white programme from the 1950's where he is looking for an isolated tribe in New Guinea that have never seen a white man before. He is standing on a dirt track in the middle of the jungle talking to camera when in the distance behind him a number of the tribe appear over the brow of a hill and come marching towards him, shouting and waving spears.

Attenborough turns around and calmly walks towards them, sticks his hand out and says 'How do you do'?
The tribe all stop dead apart from one guy at the front who walks up to Attenborough with a big grin and shakes his hand.
No doubt Attenborough would have done his research beforehand and probably knew that they would not be hostile but nevertheless he looked effortlessly cool.

His brother Richard is a successful actor and director but comes across as a luvvie darling type whereas David seems to be a top bloke who could tell some great tales down the pub.

I didn't join the crowds lining the streets when Princess Diana died but when David Attenborough eventually passes on I would probably want to pay my respects.  The man is a national treasure and when he is gone we will realise that we really miss the sound of his voice.

22 comments:

YeamieWaffles said...

I agree so much with this dude, Attenborough is an absolute class act, his voice is great and I don't know, I just like everything about him in general.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

We need to find a way to merge Attenborough, Morgan Freeman, Sean Bean, and Dennis Haysbert into some sort of smooth-talking machine of world peace.

Janie Junebug said...

Snooker?

Love,
Janie

Tony Van Helsing said...

Matthew: He is the bollocks.

Mike: that is the greatest idea I have ever heard. It would probably sound like Barry White.

Janie: I know, I hate snooker too if I'm honest.

Al Penwasser said...

Now THAT can make one big-ass omelet.
I've heard Attenborough, too. While James Earl Jones is certainly good, he can't hold a candle to Sir David.

Janie Junebug said...

Actually, I wrote snooker with a question mark because I've never heard of it. If you don't tell me what it is, then I suppose I can Google it.

Pat Hatt said...

I prob have heard him just don't know the name, as I watch alot. Had to have heard him. Always liked James Earl Jones too.

Margaret said...

It's good to know who your treasures are. Of course, he has the great accent (to my ears), so it helps.

Brigitta Huegel said...

Dear Tony,
"Planet Earth" is the DVD-box of David Attenborough I have, and I love it very much. He is wonderful!

Juliette said...

I concur Tony! He is on my top 10 dinner list. His voice is wonderful and he has had me fixated with his documentaries. True genius.

Azra said...

He is definitely a legend :)

Tony Van Helsing said...

Al: Too right mate.

Janie: Snooker is our version of pool.

Pat: If it is a high quality, BBC wildlife documentary chances are Attenborough's talking.

Margaret: you guys are suckers for our accent.

Brigitta: What's happened to your name?

Juliette: What would you cook him for dinner?

Azra: Right you are.

Nicki Elson said...

This is such a lovely tribute. I feel like I know the name Attenborough, but I could be thinking of his luvvie darling brother. Anyhow, I'll be on the lookout for David.

Jimmy Fungus said...

Any man who takes a picture of himself holding a giant egg is ok by me.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Nicki: It's worth checking out the BBC natural history section for copies of his documentaries. The camera work is incredible and when he has a new series over here they are quite an event.

Jimmy: He built this egg himself from the fragments of a Giant Roc egg.

Bart said...

dont really know who this is but i probably have heard his voice before lol

altadenahiker said...

Not only that, I think he's dishy.

Amy said...

Nicely written piece, Tony. It is interesting that it is usually those who are simple and genuine that inspire us the most.

Katsidhe said...

Since I kinda have a foot on either side of the pond, I have a special appreciation for Attenborough and his "how do you do?".

Katsidhe said...

Since I kinda have a foot on either side of the pond, I have a special appreciation for Attenborough and his "how do you do?".

Young at Heart said...

he is absolutely a top bloke....and good looking at every age too!!

CheesyDoug said...

I have never heard of this man, therefore I believe you invented him for your own amusement. You play some twisted games, Tony.