The evolution of David Attenborough in pictures

From a young TV presenter to wise king of the jungle...

David Attenborough is king of the jungle, the ocean, the desert…he’s ultimately master of all nature and someone we’d all like to have as a family member.


So in honour of BBC1’s David Attenborough special in which he is interviewed by Barack Obama, we’ve gone back to look at the evolution of the man himself – from young and green to the wisest naturalist around…

1st March 1955: David Attenborough, producer of the BBC wildlife documentary ‘Zoo Quest’ series, and Jack Lester, curator of London Zoo’s reptile house, plan their next expedition to British Guiana with the help of Gregory the parrot.

4th January 1958: Prince Charles and Princess Anne meet naturalist David Attenborough at Lime Grove Studios. The young royals are introduced to a cockatoo captured on Attenborough’s last Zoo Quest expedition. 

4th March 1965: British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough after he was appointed the new head of BBC 2

6th March 1965: British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough and Michael Peacock, Contoller of the BBC, with soft toy versions of Hullabaloo and Custard, the kangaroo mascots which were used as logos for the launch of BBC 2.

January 15th 1982: David Attenborough: Broadcaster is a familiar face on British television and hopes to become just as well-known in North America through his history series, Life On Earth, on PBS

London 1992:  David Attenborough has his eyes measured and matched for his wax replica at Madame Tussads’ Wax Museum 

October 13, 2003:  A python greets Sir David Attenborough during a photo opportunity at Taronga Park Zoo  in Sydney, Australia to promote his new series The Life of Mammals

January 31st 2005: David Attenborough poses with a bear at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

July 13th 2006: Lord Richard Attenborough and Sir David Attenborough robe up, before they are awarded the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellowships from the University of Leicester 

May 2nd 2007: Sir David Attenborough holds a Privet Hawk moth as he launches the National Moth Recording scheme at the London Zoo in London

April 6th 2009: David Attenborough poses with his award at the British Academy Television Awards Press Room at the Royal Festival Hall

May 17th 2012: Sir David Attenborough poses with a floral sculpture of himself outside the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew Gardens

December 11th 2013: The Duchess of Cambridge meets British naturalist David Attenborough before the screening of David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D at the Natural History Museum in London

May 10th 2015: David Attenborough attends the House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards at Theatre Royal 


A David Attenborough Special is on at 10.30pm on Sunday 28th June on BBC1