ATTENBOROUGH AT 90 (BBC 1, tonight, 7pm) DAVID Attenborough is celebrating his 90th birthday by looking back at his life during a chat with Kirsty Young and contributions from celebrity fans such as Michael Palin and Chris Packham.
Attenborough was initially turned down for an on-screen role when he arrived at the BBC in the 1950s - his | David Mitchell as Will Shakespeare comedy is set in make a name for teeth were deemed to be too big for TV! Instead, he became a producer before venturing in front of the camera for the three-part Animal Patterns and later the famed Zoo Quest.
He took charge of BBC2 from 1965 to 1973, but it was that love of getting his hands dirty out in the field that persuaded him to ditch administration in favour of a well-cut safari suit.
Within a matter of weeks he went from being knee-deep in paperwork to being knee-deep in bat droppings in a dank Borneo cave.
"I found that much preferable," he chuckles. "There's no sense of mission in my programmes. I have a great time. I have a ball. The fact is, I enjoy doing it."
| Sir David Attenborough with an armadillo from Attenborough's Animals in 1963