Attenborough's Life Stories

“I’ve been lucky enough to live through what well might be considered the golden age of natural history filmmaking.” – Sir David Attenborough

Now a world-famous veteran of wildlife presentation on television, Sir David Attenborough was eight years old in 1934 when he saw his first natural history film.

It featured the popular naturalist Cherry Kearton, one of the earliest pioneers of wildlife photography and filmmaking. “Kearton’s films captured my childish imagination,” says Attenborough. “It made me dream of traveling to far off places to film wild animals.”

Years later, those dreams became an illustrious reality. For over half a century, Attenborough has been at the forefront of natural history filmmaking, witnessing an unparalleled period of change in our planet’s history. His first-hand accounts offer a unique perspective on the natural world. To mark his 60th anniversary on television, Nature presents Attenborough’s Life Stories, a three-part retrospective of his life and work.

Episode one: Attenborough’s Life Stories: Life on Camera

Attenborough revisits key places and events in his career and shows how a succession of technical innovations in filmmaking led to remarkable revelations about our planet and the creatures that inhabit it.

Episode two: Attenborough’s Life Stories: Understanding the Natural World

Attenborough shares his memories of the scientists and the breakthroughs that helped shape his own career in translating these discoveries into film.

Episode three: Attenborough’s Life Stories: Our Fragile Planet

Attenborough reflects on the dramatic impact that we have had on the natural world during his lifetime.

Attenborough’s Life Stories premiered Wednesday, January 23-February 6 at 8/7c on PBS.

  • Diana McCoy

    David Attenborough is really a great narrator and has given so much to all of us.

  • Susan

    David, you are the best! Always amazing work! Love watching you!

  • Dixie Wong

    I love your nature programs.

  • Fran Sancroft

    I grew up with David and all the animals he filmed throughout the world and saw so many amazing things through him. I will always remember a piece on the Bell Bird which, until he filmed it, was not known.. Many of the early shows in black and white (grey really) were superb studies of rare species….David is an inspiration to us all to conserve this precious planet of ours and all of its inhabitants! He is a National Treasure, and an International Treasure!
    Fran Sancroft – A Fan!!

  • Maggie

    Can’t wait to see this – he is one of my all time heroes! He has the best voice ever, as well!

  • Virginia C. Welles

    Can’t wait to ss these programs. Such important work. Thanks for letting us know in enough time to mark the calendar.

  • Julie Bonner

    Sir David Attenborough is a true friend of wildlife and a superb narrator. He has given us hours of wonderful windows into nature. Many many thanks!

  • Kevin G

    No one holds a candle….
    His work will live on for decades, hopefully centuries

  • Heather

    Beautiful programs! however while the first preview clip uses the word evolution in its true sense when it speaks about the evolution of wild life film making I am sure that I and my family are not alone to be saddened by the frequent use of evolution when applied to the “creation”. Yes creatures can adapt but they have not evolved by changing from one species to another. To explain the amazing variety beauty, humor and evident wisdom in the natural environment by referring to blind chance has been a missed opportunity to give credit where credit should surely go.

  • John Davis

    I am a major support of David’s work with wild life and the world of plant life. The earth should not be tampered with. Let nature’s natural grow and existence remain , especially the animals and mammals. People need to understand that nature has a way of mending and healing their own, no interference from the so called experts from the human race. Poachers that hunt wild animals for money and greed must be destroyed immediately.

  • Valerie

    Looking forward to this series – my husband and I grew up watching him on TV in England. He’s the best!

  • E. Paul Austin

    Looking forward to this series. David rocks, as they say. Thank you for all the years of intelligent narration.

  • Gloria Hutto

    I have so enjoyed Nature as filmed and narrated by David Attenborough. Thanks for making such beautiful and wholesome entertainment that will last a lifetime.

  • Sandi M

    David Attenborough is my favorite and has brought the wonder of
    nature to millions. We are so lucky to have had the pleasure he has brought to us all

  • dee

    When Mr. Attenborough presents, I sit up, listen, and watch: I have been schooled as well as being entertained.

  • Jaime E.

    If you get a chance, buy his Blurays, DVD or books. They are wonderful, specially for children.

  • Gretchen

    I have always enjoyed watching David Attenborough shows as well as the Nature program. One of my favorite David Attenborough series was Birds, checked it out at the local libray many times. Looking forward to watching this new series of his and hopefully many more. Truly enjoy.

  • Larry says;

    Mr.Attenborough, Is probably the best thing that has happened to wild life Nature programs..Hats off to you

  • mike day

    Sir Attenborough has, and still does, bring about an immediate excitement and joy to simply living here on this wondrous orb, this living laboratory of biological diversity. Would that we all had just a fraction of his zeal for life and his dedication to preserving it in all its forms. Thank you Sir.

  • Pauline

    I, too, grew up with David. Everyone remembers his famous whispering when observing wildlife – in Africa, I believe – it just added to the excitement and wonder of it all. Looking forward to joining him again.

  • Virginia

    I so wanted to watch these previews, but they wouldn’t load/open? Some sort of technical glitch. Thanks very much though for notifying us of the dates. We don’t want to miss them!

  • Floyd Williams

    One of the highlights of my life was to meet David Attenborough and be with his crew as they filmed at the North Carolina State Park where I worked in the late 1990’s. Having admired all that he had done throughout my life prior to this filming, I felt privileged to witness this great man at work. Having always been fascinated by adaptation and evolutionary process, I have found myself astounded by his insight and presentation.

  • Eamonn, Dublin, Ireland

    Sir David conveys a sense of awe and wonderment in his narrations – he brings an obvious personal love and involvement with nature that entrances his audience – his mastery and craftsmanship are inspirational. From the very first time I saw & heard him, I trusted him and always will. I further knew that, as my kids grew up, they were in the safest possible of hands watching his programs.

    He is, for me, one of a unique band of inquiring minds – Jaques Cousteau (Calypso voyages), Sir Patrick Moore (The Sky at Night), JFK (Ich bin ein Berlinner), MLK (I havea dream), NASA (Apollo to ISS) – it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have known you all – my best friends !!

    Sir David – my respects and my profound gratitude for the joy you have so generously brought to my life.

    Eamonn Giblin

  • Jerry

    Anyone who has seen any of Attenbourough’s wonderful films realizes that it is the evolution of the diversity of life that is exhibited in full flower. Evolution in its original form was applied to biological change (and it means change over generations). Natural selection is the mechanism of adaptive change…it is not “random” since the environment acts to eliminate forms that are less well adapted to conditions. Since variation is natural and is not limited (all natural populations show variation) organisms have the capacity to adapt to new situations provided the change is not too dramatic (which leads to extinction of the species).

    This explains why similar species exist in nearby areas with slightly different environments. It explains why forms are extremely similar to those that precede and follow them in the fossil record. It explains why the DNA and processes of development, and anatomy can be traced from species to species, group to group in a regular pattern. None of this is “random”. It’s the result of common ancestry and adaptation to local conditions.

  • Suzanne

    What a wonderful idea to mark his contributions to our appreciation and understanding of nature. I saw him speak some years ago at the Free Library of Philadelphia and he was even more mesmerizing in person. What a truly awesome body of work he has shared with all us viewers and readers. Thank you, Nature; thank you, Sir Attenborough.

  • Roger Baker

    David, you have opened up the natural world for us to see with the enthusiasm and wonder of a child seeing it for the first time. I can only speak for myself but, when I watch your wonderful work, I feel like that child full of wonder and excitement. Thank you for your life’s work!

  • joanna

    Sir Attenborough is a master, please live for ever, and continue with what you do.

  • Monica

    I have always been a huge fan of David Attenborough’s and have looked forward to this program for weeks. It is amazing and a tribute to his body of work. I sat in awe and watched with joy. Now I can’t wait until part 2!

    Thank you, Nature. You are my favorite TV show.

  • Jim

    I love his work and really enjoyed the first episode. Can you tell me how to purchase the disks?

  • John Proudian

    David Attenborough has contrbuted enormously to humankind’s appreciation of our natural world.Merci! Gracias! Grazie!

  • Cedrick

    Attenborough you are so rad. Keep it up.

  • Song wolf

    Wonderful,really looking forward to seeing his nature show. He’s truly a remarkable man….his passion is inspiring!!!

  • Michigan Birder

    My favorite series of David Attenborough is the The Life of Birds. I am looking forward to watching these episodes of Nature as well. David Attenborough provides the best introduction to the world of birds and wildlife through his excellent narration and presentation.

  • Roger Pummell

    Great photography, my family and I find David Attenborough most educational and entertaining. Do you have any of his works that were done in England around the late forties and early fifties. He did a very interesting program called “Down Your Way”. Each week he visited different towns and interviewed the most interesting locals and described the historic values of the buildings and the history people of who built them.

  • SP

    Great programs by PBS and its affiliates.God Bless David Attenborough.

  • MJBrennan

    I really enjoyed hour 1 and particularly appreciated the depth and breadth of DA s work,when presented in this format. TY to all involved!

  • Jorgen Zander

    “Lifes been good so far” . But I must say. If there ever was a man who’s shoes I would have loved to walk in, it would have been this man

  • Nancy Tiley

    Brilliant and heartwarming. Thank you for airing the series.

  • Tete

    An educator of first category whose great love of his subject transfers to the viewer’s heart and mind instantly!

    Thank you.

  • Clyde Bartel

    This was an excellent series and a great retrospective of a lifetime of fine work by David Attenborough.

    I do need to take issue with one comment that he made in Episode 3. The first African national park was not created in central Africa in 1925. That distinction goes to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, founded in 1898, and one of the worlds first wildlife reserves.

  • Robert Cameron

    Thank you for your life and labor Sir David, for helping build awareness of Mother Earth and Her many life forms, humankind’s only home.

  • MJ Danton

    We love David Attenborough for bringing his joy and deep knowledge of the natural world to all! Every time you watch him, you learn something new! He is irrepressible and we love how he pops up all over the world – bless him, indeed! This new 3-part series is wonderful, especially the last episode – hopefully, we can all carry on the environmental work and keep making progress, as he requested. We only regret that his earlier shows were on black and white film, but now his subjects are in glorious color. Thank you for the new series – and please do more!

  • Rosalyn Miles

    Thank you so very much. I saw part 3 of Attenborough’s Life Stories. I laughed and I cried. I hope we, as a species, learn that being the smartest does not mean that we are not the dumbest. Is our greed for “things” so important that we are willing to endanger this beautiful gift from GOD (earth)? I only hope that we can reverse this trend quickly. Enlightening. Thank you, again.

  • M. Lloyd

    Was out of the country when these were aired. Will I be able to see them repeated on WKNO?

  • fultonk

    Hi M. Lloyd,
    You can check your local public television station schedule to see if and when the series will be rebroadcast here.

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