Related Videos

Top 10 David Attenborough Moments

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Marc Turner Naturalist, broadcaster, presenter, this man truly is a national treasure. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Sir David Attenborough Moments. For more than half a decade, David Attenborough has brought the wonders of nature into our front rooms. For this list we’ll be focusing on his most memorable moments from documentaries, interviews, and other public appearances. Special thanks to our users CandyGrahm and crystal_wolf_heart for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 David Attenborough Moments


Naturalist, broadcaster, presenter, this man truly is a national treasure. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Sir David Attenborough Moments.

For more than half a decade, David Attenborough has brought the wonders of nature into our front rooms. For this list we’ll be focusing on his most memorable moments from documentaries, interviews, and other public appearances.

#10: The Capercaillie
“The Life of Birds” (1998)

This documentary series studied the evolution of birds plus their shared and singular habits, casting new light on hundreds of species. During the course of its filming, Sir David covered over 250,000 miles, visiting more than 40 countries, yet arguably its best and most memorable moment came close to home, in the Highlands of Scotland. As Attenborough enters the territory of the world’s largest species of grouse, The Capercaillie, he comes face to face with a bird that mistakes him for a love rival. Run, David, run!

#9: The Wolf Call
“The Life of Mammals” (2002-03)

In his memoir, “Adventures Of A Young Naturalist”, Attenborough tells the story of how he once wrestled a red-maned wolf in Argentina. Perhaps that is how he got to know the animals so intimately, for in the following clip he shows off an impressive ability to copy their call. As the presenter explains how wolves are able to communicate across long distances, his impersonation is so convincing that he appears to draw responses from an entire valleyful of the animals. It’s eerie and incredible, at the same time.

#8: Meeting Barack Obama
“David Attenborough Meets President Obama” (2015)

On the occasion of Attenborough’s 89th birthday, he was invited to the White House by the then President of the United States. Obama wanted advice about the most critical issues threatening the Earth in the twenty-first century, and after half a century as a leading naturalist, no one is better placed to give it than Attenborough. Of course, he has long been a spokesmen on issues such as climate change and conservation, giving this sobering warning in his 2000 documentary series, “State of the Planet”.

#7: Lonesome George
“Galapagos 3D” (2013)

The Pinta Island tortoise Lonesome George was once the last known member of his species and the rarest creature in the world. When Attenborough visited the Galapagos National Park in 2013, he was granted just 30 minutes alone with Lonesome George – who was asleep for most of it, but awake for a few crucial moments. Sadly, George died a fortnight after this clip was filmed, but he has since become an important symbol for conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands and beyond. And George and David briefly became one of television’s greatest double acts.

#6: Birdsong Bloopers
“Attenborough’s Paradise Birds” (2015)

Attenborough achieved a childhood ambition when he travelled to New Guinea to film birds-of-paradise for “Attenborough in Paradise”, in 1996. And he has continued his association with some of the world’s rarest birdlife ever since, including narrating these images of the creatures’ courting rituals which are regarded as some of the greatest wildlife footage ever captured. But not everything always goes according to plan. As a consummate professional, Attenborough usually records his scripts in a small number of takes, yet here one bird was determined to upstage him.

#5: The Adele Voiceover
“The Greg James Show” (2012-)

During his distinguished career, Sir David has provided plenty of hilarious voiceovers on subjects ranging from nightclubs to Olympic curling. But perhaps his most famous alternative voicework came in 2015, when Radio 1 DJ Greg James challenged him to narrate the opening to Adele’s music video for her song “Hello”. With a script in the style of one of his famous documentaries, this performance underlines not just Attenborough's versatility, but also his sublime sense of humour.

#4: The Orangutan
“Zoo Quest” (1954-63)

Heading back to Attenborough’s first major TV appearance, here he partners with staff from London Zoo to collect specimens for their expanding collection – an accepted practice back then. And this now-famous clip shows Attenborough’s natural affinity with the animals, as he wins the trust of an orangutan, Charlie, and eventually coaxes him out of his cage and onto deck. Once rehomed in England, Charlie actually fathered the first orangutan to be born at London Zoo, establishing its breeding colony.

#3: The Blue Whale
“The Life of Mammals” (2002-03)

Meeting a blue whale was another of Attenborough’s boyhood dreams, and another he fulfilled when he helped to capture this stunning footage of the mighty marine mammal. Attenborough’s obvious excitement threatens to spill over as the creature surfaces mere metres from his boat, yet he retains his professionalism just enough to faultlessly deliver a perfect piece-to-camera. A clear fan favourite moment from the presenter’s long and distinguished back catalogue, few scenes so magnificently sum up the magic of the natural world.

#2: The Baby Rhino
“Africa” (2013)

This documentary, obviously set exclusively in Africa, features one of the most moving moments of Attenborough’s entire career, as he befriends a blind baby rhino, called Nicky. In an interview for Radio 5 Live, Sir David admitted to sometimes crying over the suffering of the animals that he encounters, but he maintains that it’s inappropriate for presenters to intervene or even show their emotion. Those principles were surely pushed to their limit here. Nicky never did get his eye operation, but still thrived in the care of a Kenyan wildlife team.

#1: Mountain Gorillas
“Life On Earth” (1979)

This clip has been regularly voted not just as a stand-out David Attenborough moment, but as one of the top TV moments in general, of all time. Filmed in Rwanda, it begins with a scripted section about the largest members of the ape family. But after feeling the hand of a female gorilla on his head, Attenborough’s encounter with the group gets a little closer than he’d anticipated. And the reason why the presenter is smiling and grimacing throughout? Because, out of shot, two playful baby gorillas are carefully removing his shoes.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs