David Attenborough returns to host beloved BBC series at 97 years old

At 97, David Attenborough is returning once again to host the BBC’s Planet Earth nature series.

It’s been 17 years since the British broadcaster and biologist first signed on to narrate the documentary show in 2006. He later returned to present Planet Earth 2 in 2016.

Now, the network has confirmed its third iteration of the popular nature doc will feature the tranquil sounds of Attenborough’s voice.

Planet Earth wouldn’t be Planet Earth without David, so I’m delighted he is presenting the third series,” executive producer Mike Gunton told the Daily Mirror.

Planet Earth III, which is expected to release later this year, has already begun production. The series is said to have originally been greenlit in 2019; however, filming was delayed by the Covid pandemic.

“The opening of the series with David was filmed in the beautiful British countryside in exactly the location where Charles Darwin used to walk whilst thinking over his Earth-shaking ideas about evolution,” Gunton told the outlet.

“It seemed the perfect place for David to introduce Planet Earth III and remind us of both the wonders and the fragility of our planet.”

Celebrities, including Sir David Attenborough, have urged the Government to back a precautionary pause on deep sea mining (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
Celebrities, including Sir David Attenborough, have urged the Government to back a precautionary pause on deep sea mining (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

According to IMDb, BBC’s third iteration will “discover amazing landscapes, the most amazing fights of animals on our planet, from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, from the darkest caves to the hottest deserts with new technology”.

The final instalment of the eight-episode series is said to honour the human heroes who have dedicated their lives to saving and protecting endangered species.

Attenborough himself has dedicated his life to conservationism. Over the course of his decades-long career in global nature filmmaking, he’s hosted hundreds of nature TV series, including Blue Planet, Life on Earth and, most recently, Wild Isles.

In an interview earlier this year, the renowned documentarian revealed his one career regret.

“If there is one thing I regret, and to be honest there isn’t a lot, it would be that I spent so much time doing overseas natural history,” he told The Telegraph in February.

Elsewhere in the interview, it was also disclosed that Attenborough had told his close friends and family that he was planning to retire from public life after speaking at the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in November 2021.

However, after agreeing to narrate Wild Isles, Attenborough also signed up to appear on camera after documentary producer Alastair Fothergill told him that his on-screen involvement was “absolutely critical”.