David Attenborough’s biggest regret? Not spending more time with his kids

The Planet Earth narrator told interviewer Louis Theroux about how work impacted his family life

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Sir David Attenborough may be the most familiar and beloved figure on TV, but the Planet Earth narrator still has one major career regret: missing out on time with his children.

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Speaking to interviewer Louis Theroux for the latest issue of Radio Times, Attenborough said that he’d been “unbelievably lucky” in his life, but work had taken him away from his son Robert and daughter Susan: “If you have a child of six or eight and you miss three months of his or her life, it’s irreplaceable. You miss something.”

Although Attenborough said his wife, Jane, who died in 1997, had been very “understanding”, the presenter concluded “perhaps you can’t have your cake and eat it.”

The Frozen Planet host, who celebrated his 91st birthday last month, also revealed that he thinks about his mortality “all the time” as “it’s more and more likely that I’m going to die tomorrow.”

When interviewer Theroux asked if he expects anything to happen after death, Attenborough simply replied: “no.”

Attenborough also spoke at the biggest problem facing the planet: population size. “[It] lies at the base of a lot of our problems. Why are people coming across to Europe at the moment? Partly it’s political problems, but also because living is very, very hard. People are right the edge there. The land is not producing enough food for them.”

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Read the full interview in the latest Radio Times – out now