David Attenborough’s Planet Earth III teased in trailer
Sir David Attenborough may be 97 but is showing no signs of slowing down, as he has a new docuseries called Planet Earth III out now.
The veteran broadcaster and biologist first signed on to narrate the Planet Earth documentary show in 2006, and has since returned for a second and now a third instalment, despite his advancing years.
After a decades-long career in conservationism, the beloved presenter had told friends he would retire after Cop26 in 2021, but has returned to our TV screens time and time again. So what is next for Sir David?
READ MORE… David Attenborough brands Planet Earth 3 clip ‘most amazing thing ever seen’
Sir David Attenborough has been gracing our TV screens for 69 years now, appearing from around the world to highlight global floral and fauna and raise awareness of conservationism.
Speaking earlier this year, the nature lover said his legacy as an internationally focused conservationist also fed into his biggest career regret.
He explained that early on “it was agreed I wouldn’t look at British natural history at all”, saying: “Instead, I would go to Africa, South America and so on and [they] could deal with natural history in Britain. And I stuck to that until very recently.”
“If there is one thing I regret, and to be honest there isn’t a lot, it would be that I spent so much time doing overseas natural history,” he added.
But in an interview earlier this year, it was revealed that Attenborough had told close friends that he had plans to retire after Cop26 in 2021.
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The same year when asked by American TV host Anderson Cooper: “What are you most fearful of at this moment?” Sir David said: “Becoming helpless and gaga.”
The beloved BBC broadcaster has previously spoken out about once becoming flustered when he couldn’t remember a word while he was travelling through the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, saying: “There were these searing yellow fields, and I can’t think of the damn name. I wanted to say something about it, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t until we got quite close to Geneva that I thought, of course, oil seed rape.”
While memory concerns clearly play on his mind, Sir David says the one thing that will determine when to retire will be if the programmes start to suffer. Oh, and stairs.
Explaining that he had been asked to repeatedly climb up and down a spiral staircase during filming for Attenborough And The Sea Dragon, he said: “I did it at least six times because of these bloody directors,” he told Radio Times. “‘Could you turn a little sooner? Could you look over here? Could you walk down the steps, as well as up?’ If I can’t walk up and down steps any more, that will stop me.”
He added: “Yes, I do dread not working, although there are things I can do without running up steps six times – books to be written, things I’ve never got round to. But at the moment it seems to be alright.”
Sir David went on to say: “I would like to think I would be able to detect when I couldn’t find the right words any more. If I think I’m not producing commentary with any freshness or which is apposite or to the point, I hope I would be able to recognise it before someone else told me.
“If I thought I was turning in substandard work, that would stop me.”
With just three years before he celebrates his 100th birthday, it seems Attenborough has now signs of slowing down just yet and in recent years, the British broadcaster who has captivated fans since the 1950s, revealed what is behind his fortuitous health.
“I see no reason whatsoever why I can’t live past 100,” Sir Attenborough said back in 2017, and it seems he is on his way to achieve that.
“I have certainly changed my diet,” he added, which could be contributing to his long and healthy life. “Not in a great sort of dramatic way. But I don’t think I’ve eaten red meat for months.
“I do eat cheese, I have to say, and I eat fish. But by and large, I’ve become much more vegetarian over the past few years than I thought I would ever be.”
There can be many benefits to reducing red meat intake and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Red meat such as beef, lamb or pork is linked to the development of bowel cancer, the NHS confirms, as well as processed meats such as sausages, bacon and ham.
Sir Attenborough has also benefitted from medical advancements. In 2013, he underwent heart surgery to have a pacemaker installed, The Mirror reported. The NHS explains: “The pacemaker sends electrical pulses to your heart to keep it beating regularly and not too slowly… the device can be lifesaving for some people.”
He’s also had two knee replacements which would help keep him mobile. The NHS says most people who have a knee replacement do so to ease the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Doing work he is passionate about, combined with a good diet, and utilising medical advancements could mean Sir Attenborough really does make it to 100.
Planet Earth III airs on BBC One on Sundays at 3.40pm and is available to watch via iPlayer.
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