One of UK’s most cherished broadcasters tells documentary maker Louis Theroux how traveling the world affected the time he got to spend with his kids as they were growing up.
At 91 years old, David Attenborough reflects on his life of travel, broadcasting and writing. As a naturalist and television personality, Attenborough has been deemed the father of the modern nature documentary. He is admired for his work with BBC’s Natural History Unit. (Check out his most memorable moments from BBC’s archive).
During an interview with Theroux for Radio Times, the subject of job and family arises. Attenborough states:
“If you’re going to ask me what my regrets are, it seems to me that I really shouldn’t regret anything, because I’ve been just so unbelievably lucky. But if I do have regrets, it is that… I was away for three months at a time. If you have a child of six or eight and you miss three months of his or her life, it’s irreplaceable; you miss something.”
Attenborough credits his wife, who passed away in 1997, for being understanding about the situation. According to The Guardian, his wife went into a coma while he was in New Zealand filming The Life of Birds. However, he was able to be with her before she died. They had been married for 47 years.
The Guardian comments that “Attenborough has said in the past that throwing himself into work and traveling the world helped him cope.”
Attenborough’s own mortality became a topic of discussion in his interview with Theroux, among global warming, population and our responsibilities as caretakers of planet Earth.
When asked by Theroux “…you can’t have it all, can you?”, Attenborough replied, “I damned near did.”
Check out Attenborough’s latest work with Planet Earth II’s breathtaking trailer!