Naturalist and presenter David Bellamy OBE dies aged 86

The scientist and broadcaster fronted various factual programmes including Bellamy On Botany and Bellamy's Backyard Safari

WHITSANDS BAY, ENGLAND - MARCH 27:  Conservationist David Bellamy watches as Ex-Royal Navy frigate, The Scylla, is sunk amidst explosions March 27, 2004 off Whitsands Bay, Cornwall, England. The ship will be sunk to provide an artificial barrier reef for the marine life and will also become a dive site.  (Photo by Carl De Souza/Getty Images)

Broadcaster, scientist and environmental campaigner David Bellamy, known for his distinctive voice and appearances on Don’t Ask Me and Bellamy On Botany, has died aged 86.

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Born 1933, Bellamy first came to the British public’s attention after he was interviewed on the effects of marine pollution following the tanker ship Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967.

Over his 30-year career on television, he fronted various factual programmes on science and specifically botany, including Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe, Don’t Ask Me and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.

However, the broadcaster fell somewhat out of favour in the early 2000s when he first expressed his scepticism about global warming, an opinion he reiterated a decade later in The Independent: “[Global warming] is not happening at all, but if you get the idea that people’s children will die because of CO2 they fall for it.”

Various notable figures from British television, including Piers Morgan and Bill Oddie, have paid tribute to Bellamy’s on-screen legacy.

Oddie described the late presenter as “a first class naturalist, with boundless skills to convey his enthusiasm,” while Good Morning Britain’s Morgan said that Bellamy was “a brilliant naturalist, broadcaster and character”.

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He won BAFTA’s Richard Dimbleby Award in 1978 for his ITV series Botanic Man, and was appointed OBE for his work in 1994.