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.