By Robert John Young in The Conversation.
Sir David Attenborough is 90 years old. As a child in the 1970s and 1980s his series were my most eagerly-awaited TV programmes. At school my friends and I discussed Life on Earth and The Trials of Life the way kids today discuss soap operas. We marvelled at the images, but we were hooked by the stories.
The art of a brilliant wildlife documentary is in the storytelling, and Attenborough is the supreme narrator. When I was a child, his wildlife documentaries had more than 20m British viewers, figures Simon Cowell can only dream of. His shows were broadcast in the USSR and China, even during the cold war. At the time, he may have been the most recognised person in the world.
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