Fine posts for 2008

Given that mere popularity doesn’t reflect quality, here’s my personal selection of my best, timeless posts for 2008. Happy reading!

Leaving room for elephants: a chat with David Attenborough

Photograph of David Attenborough, 22 August 1984, by Robin Goodfellow
David Attenborough about to be interviewed by Stilgherrian in 1984. (Photo: Robin Goodfellow, later scanned directly from the negative.)

Last night’s final episode of Michael Parkinson‘s long-running TV chat show should have been much better, given the stellar cast. The one stand-out for me was David Attenborough. Something he said reminded me of a conversation we had 24 years ago. I’ll share that episode shortly. But first, here’s the interview we did…

Sir David Attenborough hardly needs an introduction. He was in Australia promoting the TV series and book The Living Planet when I spoke with him. His previous series Life on Earth was the UK’s highest-rating ever at that time. The Living Planet looked to be heading in the same direction.

Attenborough has been a TV producer almost as long as the medium has existed.

From 1965 to 1969 he was Controller of the then-new BBC 2, followed by four years in another executive position. After 8 years behind a desk he decided he’d had enough of computers, accounting and unions, and returned to life as a producer — a decision, he says, that wasn’t hard to make.

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