Life on Air, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Sir David Attenborough is Britain's best-known natural history film-maker.

His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly six decades, and in this volume of memoirs Sir David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places he has visited.

His first job - after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy - was at a London publishing house.

Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer, and it was while working on the "Zoo Quest" series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe, to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat.

He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However, in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing, and has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark "BBC" series, including "Life on Earth" (1979), "The Living Planet" (1984), "The Trials of Life" (1990), "The Private Life of Plants" (1995), "Life of Birds" (1998), "The Blue Planet" (2001), "Life of Mammals" (2002), "Planet Earth" (2006) and "Life in Cold Blood" (2008).

Sir David is an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1985.

He is also Britain's most respected, trusted and lauded natural history broadcaster and writer, championing conservation and standing at the forefront of issues concerning the planet's declining species.

A lot has changed since his first television documentary, and in this updated edition of "Life on Air" Sir David tells us of his experiences of filming in the 21st century.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Television
  • ISBN: 9781849900010

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Highly recommended.I doubt I would have read the book of this title but the chance to have it read by the author himself was too good an offer to miss. It certainly didn't disappoint, and the fact that it was unabridged was a huge bonus.Attenborough eloquently recounts his broadcasting career from his first entry into the BBC as a junior trainee, through high level jobs as a director on the BBC and back, full circle, to writing and narrating on the wonderful series, Planet Earth and The Private Life of Plants. Attenborough has had a fascinating life and if I couldn't join him on his travels then listening to him retelling his adventures was the next best thing.I particularly enjoyed the details of early filming, all done live and without high tech equipment; in the days of black-and-white.There are also telling comments about the generally held opinion of the time that animals were available in plentiful supply and specimen collecting trips just took what they wanted without heed for population numbers.So, not only an intersting listen for lovers of natural history but also an informative window into a place and time that sadly, is no more.I haven't seen the printed book, but I would imagine that it contains photographs and, for me, it was the lack of photographic detail that marred this audiobook.I have already Wish Listed his other books on Audible and will be listening to them over the coming months.

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