David Attenborough's Life series

The nine series (to date) in David Attenborough's Life project have been: Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), Life in the Freezer (1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2002), Life in the Undergrowth (2005), and Life in Cold Blood (2008).

The first episode of Life on Earth was entitled The Infinite Variety. This is a reference to Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, in which Enobarbus says of Cleopatra: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety."

David Attenborough joined the BBC as a producer in 1952; he stepped in to present Zoo Quest in 1954 because the intended presenter, Jack Lester (curator of the reptile house at London Zoo) was ill. He left the BBC in the early 1960s to study for a postgraduate degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics, but accepted an invitation to return to the BBC as controller of BBC Two before he could finish the degree. In 1969 he was appointed as Director of Programmes, with responsibility for the output of both BBC television channels, but in 1973 he left this post to return to full–time programme making. He narrated every episode of Wildlife on One, a BBC One wildlife series that ran for 253 episodes between 1977 and 2005. At its peak it drew a weekly audience of eight to ten million, and the 1987 episode Meerkats United was voted the best wildlife documentary of all time by BBC viewers.

He has also introduced and/or narrated The Blue Planet (2001), Planet Earth (2006), Life (2009), Nature's Great Events (2009), Frozen Planet (2011), Life Story (2014), Planet Earth II (2016) and Blue Planet II (2017).

© Haydn Thompson 2017