How old is David Attenborough? Wild Isles star’s age, when and where he was born explained

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Wild Isles will showcase the wildlife and natural beauty of the British Isles

David Attenborough has celebrated his 97th birthday.

The TV icon returned to our screens earlier this year with BBC's Wild Isles. The show explored the beauty of Britain’s nature and wildlife - as well as the threats facing them.

Sir David has been a fixture of the small screen in Britain for decades. He has fronted beloved shows such as Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Natural World.

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His latest series, Wild Isles, will begin at 7pm on BBC One and will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer as well. It will run for five weeks, with an extra sixth short film available exclusively on streaming.

But how old is Sir David? Here is all you need to know:

What is David Attenborough’s age?

It is hard to imagine a time before Sir David began fronting documentary series on our TV screens. He has a small screen career spanning nearly 70 years, having first hosted Zoo Quest in 1954.

Born on 8 May 1926, Sir David is currently 97 years old, having celebrated his birthday on bank holiday Monday.

Where was David Attenborough born?

He was born in Isleworth, Middlesex in 1926. Sir David spent his childhood in Leicester, his family lived in College House on the campus of the University of Leicester due to his father Frederick being the principal.

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Sir David was the middle of three sons - his elder brother Richard became an actor and director, playing Santa Claus in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street and his younger brother John was an executive at Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo. His family fostered two Jewish refugees during World War Two.

How long has David Attenborough been on TV?

Sir David first joined BBC’s TV division in 1952 and became a host in 1954 with the show Zoo Quest, only become presenter after the planned host fell ill at the last minute. He became the controller of BBC Two in 1965 and held the position until 1969.

During his career he has fronted such shows as Frozen Planet, Blue Planet, Blue Planet II, Natural World, Planet Earth and many more. Wild Isles is his latest show.

“The natural world is the greatest source of excitement. The greatest source of visual beauty. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”“The natural world is the greatest source of excitement. The greatest source of visual beauty. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
“The natural world is the greatest source of excitement. The greatest source of visual beauty. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

Does David Attenborough have children?

Sir David was married to Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel from 1950 until her death in 1997. The couple have two children - a son Robert and a daughter Jane.

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His son Robert is a lecturer in Canberra, Australia, while Jane was a former primary school headmistress.

What was Wild Isles?

Filmed over the course of three years, the five-part Wild Isles aims to shine a light on the challenges affecting the British Isles and celebrate nature that exists on our doorsteps. Sir David will appear on Old Harry Rocks in Dorset to introduce the first episode – titled Our Precious Isles – and will explain why Britain and Ireland are critical for the survival of species across the globe.

The episode will feature new behaviour from killer whales hunting seals, golden eagles scavenging in mountains, puffins chased by greedy gulls and sinister plants holding unsuspecting insects hostage. It will also show the biggest colony of northern gannets in the world migrating to the east coast of Scotland, and barnacle geese travelling to the west coast attempting to avoid the white-tailed eagle.

Capturing the first ever complete sequence of hunting white-tailed eagles, formerly extinct in the British Isles, took more than 70 days and saw wildlife cameraman and 2022 Strictly Come Dancing champion Hamza Yassin on the job.

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Across the five episodes, the Wild Isles crew filmed in 145 locations and 96 species which took 1,631 days to film. Series producer Alastair Fothergill said: “Ever since I worked on the original Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet series, I have always wanted to cover the British Isles and our natural history with a similarly ambitious and epic approach.

“I knew that nobody had ever had the opportunity before to really do justice to the spectacular scenery and rich and varied wildlife found at home. I also have a personal passion for our natural history.

“I hope the audience will be genuinely surprised by the richness of our natural history. At the same time, I hope they will recognise how fragile and precious it is.”

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