David Attenborough

David Attenborough: The Early Years Collection
  • David Attenborough: The Early Years Collection

  • David Attenborough, Britain’s voice of natural history, narrates his early adventures in Indonesia, New Guinea and Northern Australia.

    David Attenborough first appeared in front of a television camera in the 1950s when, together with London Zoo's Curator of Reptiles, Jack Lester, he persuaded the BBC to mount and film an animal-collecting expedition. The result was Zoo Quest. Specially recorded for audio, David Attenborough’s early adventures are sometimes life-threatening, often hilarious and always totally absorbing. The warmth and enthusiasm that have made him a broadcasting legend are instantly apparent here as he recounts this magical journey.

    This collection includes three volumes from Attenborough’s chronicles of his early expeditions:

    In Zoo Quest For A Dragon, Attenborough tells of the crew’s hazardous boat trip with a gun-smuggling captain and the terror of erupting volcanoes. He also depicts for the listener some of the incredible sights he and his team witnessed – breathtaking butterflies, taking tea with Charlie the orang-utan and the the voyage to the little-known island of Komodo to capture the elusive Komodo Dragon.

    Quest in Paradise describes his next animal collecting and filming trip to New Guinea, home of the exotic Birds of Paradise. David tells of his adventures during the trip: being an onlooker at a formal lovemaking ceremony, seeing the skills of ritual axe making, trying to master pidgin English and witnessing a ‘sing sing’ at which hundreds of tribesmen came together from all parts of the country.

    In Quest Under Capricorn, David Attenborough ventured to the Northern Territory of Australia. In his first expedition to the other side of the world, he meets Aborigines, goes walkabout in the bush, and learns the craft of the artists of Arnhem Land.

    Also included is David Attenborough In His Own Words, a collection of interviews taken from the BBC radio and TV archives.

Sir David Attenborough is Britain's best-known natural history film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly six decades. His first job - after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy - was at a London publishing house. Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer, and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe, to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat. He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However, in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing, and has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), The Private Life of Plants (1995), Life of Birds (1998), The Blue Planet (2001), Life of Mammals (2002), Planet Earth (2006) and Life in Cold Blood (2008). Sir David was knighted in 1985, is an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, and stands at the forefront of issues concerning the planet's declining species and conservation.