Sir David Attenborough’s Life Stories – A selection of short talks by Sir David Attenborough

In this digital age with so many different forms of media it is sometimes easy to forget the importance of radio.  Whilst most of the United Kingdom is undergoing the digital revolution with television broadcast media at the moment, for radio, the change over to digital programming and all the added benefits that the transition brings has already taken place.

We have several digital radios, one in the office, others around the warehouse, even one in the dinosaur fan.  The van radio is quite a sophisticated device, it allows mobile phones and other equipment to be used by the passenger whilst providing updates on the Test match and other valuable information for the driver.

Many of us at Everything Dinosaur, have fallen back in love with the radio and for some of us, we have only just begun to realise the rich variety and diversity of radio programming in the UK.  All the automatic digital tuning stations on each set are used and at the touch of a button the listener can switch from Radio 7 (comedy, sci-fi and drama), to Radio 5, 5 Sports Extra and back again, all in crystal clear clarity.

The controllers at Radio 4 deserve a special mention.  This station, (news, current affairs and information), has always provided an excellent range of programming, the Archers (longest running soap in the country- “an everyday story of country folk”), is popular, as are the science programmes.

Over the last few weeks, the BBC have been broadcasting on Radio 4 a series of short monologues by Sir David Attenborough entitled “David Attenborough’s Life Stories”.  Each ten minute programme is a talk by Sir David on the natural histories of creatures and plants from around the world.  Broadcast twice a week (Friday evenings 8.50pm GMT) and repeated on the following Sunday 8.50am GMT), it has proved to be essential listening.  Not only is Sir David an eloquent and erudite speaker, but his love and fascination for the natural world really comes over in these short programmes.  His life long interest in nature has proved a rich and fertile ground from which to create this series of twenty talks.  He has covered a wide variety of topics, from recalling his first encounter with a South American Sloth, to musing over the discovery of Archaeopterxy.

One of his recent episodes covered the story of how he was duped into buying a pair of mating Trilobites from a local trader in Morocco.  A number of our team members have been lucky enough to travel to that country and we too have been taken in by the fantastic fossil specimens of these Arthropods that can be purchased by the roadside.  His most recent programme covered the story of the discovery of a Coelacanth and the controversy over how closely related this particular type of prehistoric fish was to the first Tetrapods.

Next weeks ten minute programme is about the Dodo.  Radio 4 are to be congratulated for creating such an informative and interesting series.  A programme narrated by a knowledgeable person covering subjects that they love and are enthused by.  Sometimes it is the most simple programme ideas that are the most effective.

Good luck to the Radio 4 production team behind these programmes and good luck to you Sir David Attenborough, may you continue to have many more adventures whilst filming the natural world, and hopefully you will commit some more stories to tape so that Radio 4 can produce a second series.

To read an article about a recently caught Coelacanth: Coelacanth caught off Zanzibar

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