Sir David Attenborough may not film abroad again as he dreads flying

Katie Archer
·Contributor
·2 min read
Sir David Attenborough narrates Our Planet (Netflix)
Sir David Attenborough narrates Our Planet (Netflix)

Sir David Attenborough has said his days filming in far-flung corners of the planet may be over as he can’t stand flying anymore.

The award-winning nature documentary maker has been working in natural history broadcasting for seven decades, but has now hit a stumbling block as he doesn’t want to have to take long flights.

He told the Radio Times: “It’s probably a fact of age, but I was finding my heart was sinking deeper and deeper into my boots every time I walked up into an aircraft and looked down that long line and thought, ‘I’m going to be here for another 24 hours.’

“It didn’t make my heart lift with pleasure.”

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet was originally due to launch in April 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Silverback Films/Altitude)
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet was originally due to launch in April 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Silverback Films/Altitude)

Sir David, 94, was asked whether he thought he would film broad again and admitted: “No, not a lot.”

In recent years, the broadcaster has travelled to far fewer of the locations featured in his documentaries, narrating from a studio closer to home instead.

For the 2019 series Seven Worlds, One Planet, he only travelled to two of the 41 countries filmed in - Kenya and Iceland.

Read more: Why Sir David Attenborough thinks some zoos are justified

At the time, he explained that he was trying to reduce his carbon footprint, saying: “I don’t think people should fly just for the hell of it.”

By contrast, for the 1998 series The Life of Birds, Sir David travelled to 42 countries for filming which ended up being the equivalent of flying around the world 10 times.

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Credit: Netflix/WWF/Silverback Films)
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Credit: Netflix/WWF/Silverback Films)

Recently, Sir David revealed that he had “punched the air” in joy at Joe Biden’s win during the US Presidential election as he was so pleased that America would be re-entering the Paris Agreement.

He told The Daily Mirror: "That someone should be coming into power who recognises the importance of the ecological problems that face us – whose first statement after it became clear he was going to become the President Elect was to reinstate America’s backing of the Paris agreement... I can’t remember getting out of my seat and cheering all by myself until that moment.

“I have never done it before, even for our own elections.”

Watch: Sir David Attenborough shows viewers ‘A Perfect Planet’