Daily Mirror interview: Sir David Attenborough

[As written exclusively for Daily Mirror, August 2013]
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Sir David Attenborough: Pacemaker will not slow me down

He vowed to continue making documentaries, insisting the operation had inspired him to keep going.

He is wild about nature, and veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has vowed to keep doing what he loves – despite having emergency heart surgery.

Speaking for the first time since he had a pacemaker fitted in June the naturalist, 87, vowed to continue making documentaries, insisting the operation had inspired him to keep going, rather than slow down.

At the launch of his new wildlife film, Penguins 3D, he said: “If you’re in your late 80s as I am, and your heart needs to be helped with collaborations, then it is easily fixed with one of these things [a pacemaker].

“You just go in for 24 hours and it’s done. I don’t think it has made me reassess my work at all, or any trips ahead.

“It allows one to continue the way one does until one can’t, doing what I enjoy.”

Sir David had to reschedule a tour to Australia earlier this summer, after top doctors urged him to agree to the urgent heart operation.

The wildlife star was said to be back home and recovering the following day.

He finally filmed the A Life On Earth tour in Oz last month. The trip took in Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

His hit documentaries such as the BBC’s Planet Earth and Frozen Planet have made Sir David a favourite with viewers. His latest offering, Penguins 3D, is set on South Georgia Island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Sir David began his career in 1952, when he rose up the ranks at the BBC, eventually becoming the controller of BBC2 in 1965.

His passion for naturalist film-making took him down the path of wildlife documentaries, which earned him a knighthood in 1985 and an Order of Merit in 2005.

He recently said: “I’ve been broadcasting for 60 years. I don’t want to slow down. Retirement would be so boring.”

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