David Attenborough is one of the most widely respected TV broadcasters and has become known as the face and voice of natural history documentaries. His career in broadcasting has stretched over more than a half a century to 1952. David is the younger brother of actor, Richard Attenborough.
David was brought up in Leicester and went to Clare College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences; after graduating in 1947, he was called up for 2 years national service in the Navy.
On leaving the navy he briefly worked as an editor for a children’s book for a publishing company. However, in 1950 he applied to the BBC for a job. Initially he was rejected, but, his CV remained on file and shortly afterwards was given a 3 months training schedule to work as a BBC broadcaster. He proved to be a good worker and quickly progressed through the ranks of the fledgling BBC TV service. He became in charge of all non-fiction broadcasts and was soon associated with various natural history programmes such as The Pattern of Animals and Zoo Quest.
From 1965 to 1969 Attenborough was controller of BBC2. He initiated a wide range of programmes including live Snooker, Match of the Day, the Likely Lads and Mastermind. David later said he felt BBC2 should maintain a good range of diversity.