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2016 was a bad year for celebrity royalty, with numerous great losses racking up from the entertainment world. But thankfully there’s at least one stalwart of our screens still going strong: the inimitable David Attenborough.

An increasingly rare example of a genuine, passionate man who is famed and loved for all the right reasons, Attenborough is, and for many of us will always be, the narrator of the nature documentary.

His voice alone is enough to soothe the ailing soul after a long day. And this gentle giant is just so genuinely full of joy and wonder at our beautiful planet – it’s impossible not to smile. His face is so familiar it sometimes feels like an old friend is sharing the secrets of the natural world with us.

So in honour of the man – no, the legend – we take a look at some of his most iconic, heart-warming and humorous natural history moments.

David Attenborough’s Greatest Moments

A long and prolific career

There are so many moments to choose from. After all, he’s the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes filmed in black and white, colour, HD, and 3D. Amazing.

We asked our Attenborough enthusiasts at Exodus to list their top moments, and here was their response.

Gorilla Thriller

Naturally, we start with the iconic gorilla encounter. Probably the most famous of Attenborough’s many moments. He wants to film a serious piece of narration. The gorillas have other plans.

Follow in Attenborough’s footsteps: Gorilla safaris

Egging us on

In this classic black and white clip deep in the belly of the BBC archives, a fresh-faced, converse-sporting youthful incarnation of Attenborough tries to piece together a Giant Egg in Madagascar – with a little help, of course.

Follow in Attenborough’s footsteps: Madagascar


Some people wouldn’t say “Boo!” to a goose, but naturally, Attenborough has no problems with this Sloth!

Follow in Attenborough’s footsteps: Discover Costa Rica

The (Elephant) Seal of Approval

Who could forget this incredible footage of the phenomenally powerful and ferocious Elephant seal breeding ground – and the moment Attenborough almost gets caught up in the fighting!

Follow in Attenborough’s footsteps: Antarctica

Killer Whale

Or this ground-breaking footage of Orcas wave fishing – their mathematically precise and deadly teamwork bringing down this unsuspecting seal is remarkable.

Lemurs in the Limelight

Attenborough meets hunter turned conservationist Josef to get up close to the rare Indri lemur. These curious and beautiful creatures are integral to Madagascan folklore but are still sadly critically endangered.

Follow in Attenborough’s footsteps: Madagascar

Attenborough is Dar-winning!

Attenborough heads on the trail of easily the most famous evolutionist of all time – Charles Darwin. Here he tells a miraculous story of survival, as landlubber iguanas swept out to sea adapted to living on one of the world’s ecological havens, the Galapagos Islands. Follow in

Attenborough’s footsteps: Galapagos Islands

Lyre, Lyre…it’s the Lyre Bird

The Lyre bird is one of nature’s greatest and most bizarre creations. We doubt imitating a car alarm would work too well on your first date with an average human though!

Follow in Attenborough’s footsteps: Birdwatching

The Lesser-Spotted Musical Genius

It’s not all wildlife. After all, this is Attenborough, whose talent knows no bounds. His narration of Adele’s ‘Hello’ video took the nation by storm.  

It’s a Wonderful World

Last but not least, we’ll leave you with the man himself, doing what he does best.

View wildlife trips below and be inspired to follow in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough.