When you talk about some of the greatest figures of our time, a lot of names come up quite regularly - but for us, as Brits, Sir David Attenborough doesn't get nearly enough credit or recognition for what he's done throughout the course of his 92 years on this Earth. We're talking about someone who lives to help others and lives to improve the state of the planet, and that's so unbelievably admirable.

From Dynasties to Planet Earth to Blue Planet and beyond, there are a variety of different ways in which you probably know either the face - or the voice - of this man. It's not an exaggeration to say that he's a natural treasure in the realms of English history, and the best part is that it doesn't seem like he's done by a long shot.

Every single day he pushes forward in the name of doing what he feels is right, and there's just something so unbelievably warm about that. He's just such a warm, kind-hearted individual, and his body of work truly does speak for itself.

If you've never been exposed to his work before then we highly recommend that you take this article as a sign that you should watch as much of his stuff as you possibly can. If you are aware of his greatness then you'll understand why we felt the need to create this piece, because simply put, you don't meet too many people in your lifetime like Sir David, and his legacy will live on for decades and decades to come.

25 He Has A Whole Load Of Titles


We aren’t quite sure what to make of David Attenborough’s many titles (above), other than this: it serves as indisputable proof that he’s an incredibly impressive man. The TV veteran has been receiving new titles since way back in 1974, when he was first bestowed with a CBE.

We’re talking about a man who has constantly been able to redefine what nature means to us as a society, and it’s hardly surprising to learn that it was enough to give him so many great honours. In short, what a guy. Honestly, just, what a guy.

24 He Went To The University Of Cambridge

David’s official alma mater is the University of Cambridge, with his first association with the city as a whole coming back in 1945 when he won a scholarship to Clare College. He studied zoology and geology there and was able to obtain one of many degrees, with this one being in the natural sciences.

While he’s had a long and storied association with many other notable schools and universities over the course of his career, it was Cambridge that really came first – and it was in Cambridge that he was really able to showcase his true genius to the masses.

23 The King Of Travelling

Many people know David to be the ‘King of Travelling’, and there are very few people who could claim that title above him. Whilst many fans of his already know that his shows cover every single corner of the planet, many just automatically assumed that he did his voiceovers back home in the UK.

While that may have been true some of the time, David still made the trips out to the destinations – because he was always heavily involved in every single project he was in, and still is to this day.

He’s seen a lot of things, and that’s putting it lightly.

22 His Father Was A Principal

The entire Attenborough family deserves to be recognised for their brilliance, and David’s father Frederick shouldn’t be left out of that. He was born back in 1887 and lived until 1973, and he did an awful lot during his lifetime.

He is mainly known for being the principal of University College in Leicester, which is where David actually grew up. The college received a Royal Charter six years after he left his post, but it was under his guidance that they took the necessary steps towards finally being dubbed the University of Leicester once and for all. Some would even call him an uncrowned son of Leicester.

21 He’s A Fan Of The Underdog

Whether it’s in his interviews or his documentaries, David has always given off an aura that many of his most loyal fans have always been able to recognise: that he loves to cheer for the underdog. Whether it’s an unidentified species or a public figure, he often publicly puts his backing behind those who you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

He says what he feels and he talks directly from the heart, which is a really lovely trait to have. He goes against the grain and given that he grew up in a society where that was sometimes frowned upon, he deserves a lot of respect and appreciation for that.

20 One Of The 100 Greatest Britons

The term ‘national treasure’ really is thrown around far too much, but Sir David has earned that moniker ten times over. Case in point: back in 2002 he made a very prestigious list, courtesy of a UK-wide poll by the BBC, in which he was revealed to be one of the country’s 100 greatest Britons.

If we had to narrow it down then we’re fairly confident he’d end up making the top 25, if not higher. His achievements in his career and life in general far exceed many on that list, and you’d never think that he was less than eight years away from celebrating his 100th birthday.

19 He Helped To Televise Snooker

As the controller of BBC Two back in the day, which is one of his positions that isn’t spoken about quite as much as others, Attenborough took a big step towards popularising the sport of snooker by giving it the green light to be televised. At the time BBC Two was the first British channel to broadcast in colour, too, showcasing just how forward-thinking they – and he – have always been.

He clearly noticed an interest for it and while you could argue there are many other sports that are more popular in the UK, snooker is still going strong to this day.

18 Rejected As Radio Talk Producer

Way back in 1950, when many of your parents weren’t even born yet, David was stuck in something of a rut and wanted to find something that he could really sink his teeth into. He decided to turn his attention towards the BBC, applying for the position of a radio talk producer.

He didn’t get it.

As bizarre as it is now to consider the possibility of him not getting a job, the company did keep his CV on the books – and eventually, he managed to get his foot in the door. He wound up being offered a training course, but it’s still worth remembering that even the greatest of heroes have been pushed back in the past.

17 The Teeth Dilemma

This entry is going to seem a little bit silly and many probably won’t even believe that it’s true, but trust us, it is.

During his first few years with the BBC (yes we keep going on about them, because they’re a big part of his story), Attenborough wasn’t favoured for a role on screen. The reason? Because they thought his teeth were too large.

That sounds utterly laughable but it’s the truth, and credit to David, he never chose to bow to the pressure of getting them fixed in the name of his job. He stuck it out and wound up earning his spot on the big screen.

16 The King Of The BAFTAs

While we don’t necessarily want to put all too much focus on David’s age, mainly because we think it’s a little rude, it is worth noting that he has been able to live through a variety of generations – and thus, has been present for some big changes in the world of television.

An example of that would be this remarkable statistic: he is the only person to ever win BAFTAs for programming in black and white, colour, HD, 3D and even 4K.

There’s an argument to be made that he’ll end up outliving us all, constantly churning out some of the best material the world has ever seen.

15 Very Notable Brother

David’s late brother Richard Attenborough, also known as The Right Honourable Lord Attenborough, is considered to be equally as incredible in the eyes of many –and rightly so. With two Academy Awards, four BAFTAs and four Golden Globes to his name, you could argue that he paved the way for many directors of years gone by.

He’s also featured in a series of notable films, too, including Jurassic Park, which we all know and love even to this day.

The family is just incredible and they never fail to amaze us, and we can’t wait to see what the next generation of Attenboroughs achieve.

14 He Hates Rats

As we all know, Sir David has had to deal with creatures and animals of all different shapes and sizes throughout the course of his career. Some he has probably liked more than others, but for the most part, he has shown the majority a certain level of respect and appreciation.

That is, until it comes to rats.

He has made it known that rats aren’t really his thing, which likely means that he probably wouldn’t fare all too well on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Nonetheless, we all have our fears and our worries, and this is a perfectly reasonable one.

13 A Lot Of Honorary Degrees

We’ve alluded to it already, but let’s just come right out and reveal another of David’s amazing feats: he has received more honorary degrees from British universities than anyone else, at a grand total of 32.

It also expands outside of the British Isles, too, with honours in places like Africa and beyond. We can only imagine just how honoured (pun not intended) he would’ve been by all of this, and there’s no denying that he’ll likely receive a few more as the years go on.

The idea of David coming to talk at your university must be pretty exciting, if only to hear the man himself live in action.

12 NOT An Outright Animal Lover

We’ve heard it oh so many times: David Attenborough absolutely loves animals. As it turns out, though, the man himself has spoken out about this matter several times – noting that he’s not necessarily an ‘animal lover’ per se, but instead that he’s just fascinated by them.

It’s intriguing to hear him differentiate between the two, because he’s done that a lot over the years. Whenever anyone makes a sweeping declaration about him, he tends to push back a little bit if only to ensure that all of the facts are correct and in alignment.

We can, and do, respect that mentality.

11 Married To His Wife For 47 Years

In an era in which many, many marriages around the world don’t work out for a variety of different reasons, it’s nice to look back on Sir David’s life and realise that he was able to spend a great deal of time with his beloved Jane.

Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel and David were married way back in 1950, and they remained together until 1997 when she sadly passed away. Not much was actually known about her, and it seems as if that was by design. David wanted to keep his private life just that, private.

We can only imagine how wonderful she must’ve been.

10 Didn’t Own A Television (Initially)

Things were a lot different when Attenborough first joined the BBC way back in the day, and when we say different, we mean drastically different.

An example, you ask? David didn’t own a television at the time – and while the majority of people didn’t, it’s still staggering to learn that he’d only seen one programme throughout his life up until that point.

He was essentially going in blind with a new job on the horizon, and yet even with everything seemingly being against him, he was able to produce a fantastic body of work for all to see and enjoy.

9 He Helped Bring Us Monty Python

Remember what we said about the underdog?

One of Sir David’s main goals was to make BBC Two ‘different’, giving it a range of programming that would appeal to all different walks of life. One of the biggest decisions he made was to give the green light to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which is still considered to be one of the greatest shows in the history of British television.

He quite clearly had a fantastic sense of humour back then as well as a great instinct, which begs the question as to why more people don’t give him his dues for that.

8 Not Just A Pretty Voice

This entry can be viewed as being quite broad, and to be perfectly honest, we understand the logic behind that.

The general stereotype when it comes to David is that he has an incredible voice and while that is 100% true, that’s not the only thing he should be known for. He has had the mentality of getting stuck in and really diving head first into the fire ever since he started his career, and it feels like that rubbed off on the people around him.

Nobody could claim to be ‘diverse’ unless they’d stacked themselves up against a man of his magnitude.

7 His Hero Is Ernest Thompson Seton

Even our heroes have heroes, folks, and in our opinion, that can only be a good thing. If those who have inspired us have also been inspired by others throughout the years, then that means that there’s hope that we, ourselves, will provide others with the inspiration they need to live their lives in the best manner possible for many years to come.

Ernest was an author, and is known for being one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America – despite the fact that he was born in England. In short, he was a great man, which you’d kind of expect.

6 He Has Over Two Dozen Books

Starting in 1956 and running all the way through until 1956, Sir David Attenborough has been at the forefront of publishing many, many books in his name. He always seemed to be fascinated with jotting his ideas down, and he’s always been open to getting them out into the world in a variety of different formats.

Some of his work truly is extraordinary, and a quick read will leave you contemplating the true ins and outs of wildlife as we know it. He’s the kind of guy who just knows how to get you to think, and when we say think, we mean really think.