David Attenborough will not appear on camera in Netflix series Our Planet

The 92-year-old broadcaster narrates Netflix's Our Planet, but says he won't appear in filmed sequences

National Television Awards - David Attenborough

From rolling with gorillas to saying boo to a sloth, David Attenborough has made many memorable appearances on camera during his landmark BBC natural history series.

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But the broadcaster has confirmed that for his new series Our Planet on Netflix, he’s sticking to narrating.

The 92-year-old broadcaster has said he will not be appearing on camera during the eight-part natural history series, joking that the filmmakers wanted to “look after” him.

Asked whether Attenborough would appear on camera during Our Planet, Attenborough replied, “No, no dangerous locations. They look after me like anything.”

Our Planet producer Alistair Fothergill confirmed that the naturalist would not be seen on screen during the series, adding, “He comes to Bristol which can be pretty hairy.” 

High danger,” Attenborough agreed.

However, Attenborough did say that he was blown away by the project when he sat down in the recording studio to add his narration.

“I come into it very late in the day: I am the last element that’s added,” Attenborough explained. “The pictures are pretty well finished and cut and dry [by the time I narrate the films]. Every one of them I’ve seen, my jaw has sank. Every one.”

The filmmakers however have filmed in a number of dangerous locations over the past four years — including the site of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Our forest film ends in Chernobyl,” Forthergill explained. “You think, ‘This is Armageddon environmentally’, and yet extraordinarily we had remote cameras there for four years capturing the wildlife there.”

“There is a higher density of wolves in Chernobyl than there is in the surrounding countryside,” he said. “Chernobyl is a green oasis now.”

He added that the Chernobyl film makes the case in Our Planet that, despite the harm wrought on the natural world by humans, there is still hope for the future.

“One of the reason we’re pleased to do this series for Netflix is the audience is a younger audience, largely under 30. This is the generation that’s inherited this damaged planet, and we feel it’s a really important to help these people understand the problems and understand the solutions, but in a hopeful way.”


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Our Planet will be released on Friday 5th April 2019 on Netflix