Saturday, 9 March 2013

Israel and David Attenborough

Nothing to do with Israel, but again I need it in the title to get readers. I suppose the only connection is that, like backers of Israel, I write lots of letters to newspapers. Most of them get published, as I have learnt the knack: make one good point and keep it short. Sometimes I regret that I toss them off so lightly. For example I was incensed by talk about "the next David Attenborough" so I wrote to the Radio Times. What I should have said was simply that there cannot ever be a next Sir David. He is unique: a highly knowledgeable biologist who has spent fifty years pioneering what was a novel genre, the wildlife film, and doing it at a time when much of what he recorded is likely to disappear in the near future. Instead, after briefly making that point, I let myself get diverted into a complaint about Brian Cox being billed as the new Attenborough, before I had even seen his series (actually it bored me to sleep, but that's not the point). That was a bit mean to Cox, whose astronomy programmes were wonderful. I suppose I was partly put out because the BBC is not making fuller use of the excellent wild-life experts it has, such as Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Charlotte Uhlenbroek. Anyway, they published it as 'letter of the week' and I won a Chinese portable radio, but I did miss the point.

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