Dear Sir David,

You know that question, ‘If you could invite whoever you wanted to a dinner party, who would you choose?’

Well, I would like to have you at the head of my table. In fact, I wouldn’t invite anyone else because I’d rather have you all to myself.

If you were my honoured guest, I would ask you about the changes you’ve seen in your lifetime travelling our planet. I would ask you to expand on your statement from ‘Can We Save Planet Earth?’

 ‘In the past, we didn’t understand the effect of our actions. Unknowingly, we sowed the wind and now, literally, we are reaping the whirlwind. But we no longer have that excuse: now we do recognise the consequences of our behaviour. Now surely, we must act to reform it — individually and collectively, nationally and internationally — or we doom future generations to catastrophe.’

I would listen to your answers, because there is one thing I am sure of. No-one can replace you. Not just because you are unique, but because your documentaries are. No-one will make them again.They are records of a vanishing world.

 

I bought your book, ‘Life on Earth,’ when I was a teenager. I went on to study geography, then anthropology. I watched as many of your documentaries as I could. Now I have teenagers of my own and they watch them too.

Those documentaries (and your voice) have formed a continuous background thread through my life, through my own work in the environmental field and the fiction I write. I am grateful for it.

Thank you.

 

Pen Clements

 

Queensland, Australia

@penclements

Dear Sir David Attenborough

 

Sir,

 

For the longest time you have given a voice to the amazing diversity of flora and fauna this beautiful world has to offer.  From the poles and deepest oceans to the wide empty plains you have captured the essence of every encounter and, with a reverence that approaches verbal poetry, have shared it with generations around the globe.  My two and my eleven year old sons not only know who you are but are themselves huge fans of your nature documentaries.  I tell you this because looking through your eyes at this planet is one of the greatest legacies you will leave to future generations.  Who can doubt that those to come, those who will hopefully have more vision and care than generations past, will know how incredibly fortunate we are to live on this fragile blue marble spinning in the lonely darkness of space.

 

Sir, I am not ashamed to admit that when I bear witness to any great beauty in the natural world, whether standing on a hilltop as the great sun sets across the African savannah or peering at the curious and tiny lives that scurry and slither through the leaf litter, there is but one voice that resonates in my head; yours.

 

I wish you all the best for the future, and thank you with all my heart for the past.

 

Stuart Forsyth

 

Melbourne,

Australia.

 

www.stuartforsyth.com

To Sir with Love,

 

I took a walk in the forest tonight wondering about all of the things that I wanted to write in my thank you letter to David and I happened upon a hawk and an owl, both involved in hunting down their dinner.  I thought about how getting close to this is so important in my life and I’m sure is to many millions of other lives.   How when we are in nature, we can be a little bit like David Attenborough.  We can stop, look up, observe and wonder and somehow feel connected to it all.

 

It all started my freshman year of college at UNC-Wilmington.  My Paleo-Anthropology professor brought in a Life on Earth tape, which featured Primates. And I can only say that listening to “That Voice” and seeing “That Face” for the first time was akin to something as profound as Rumi meeting Shams.  At that point, I fell in the rabbit hole and have never quite gotten over the wonder of this man and his grand ability to takes us all on a multitude of journeys and adventures to learn about the plants and animals on this beautiful Earth.  I was 19 then, I am now 51 and no other influential person in my life has made such an impact on my thinking as David has.  And this has definitely encouraged my desire to teach children about Nature.

 

Years later, ten years into a career at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, Ted Turner bought the rights to The Trials of Life.  Having heard about this, I went on my own journey to a lunch meeting with David in Washington DC, while he was in town receiving an honorary dinner with President Clinton for being knighted by the Queen.  Needless to say, this lunch was one of the top highlights of my life – never to be forgotten.

 

At that lunch I had asked him what he wanted to do next.  He said “I want to do a series on Plants.”  I said ‘you’ve already done Plants David.’  He said “Not like I want to do them.”  So, after persistent pressuring of the people around Mr. Turner to convince him to finance this project – he did, and we got The Private Lives of Plants, another astounding series!

 

My passion for protecting the environment started as a young child, but I think that learning about all of the living creatures and plants through all of these great programs has only made me more passionate about leaving this planet better than we are currently leaving it now for future generations.

 

I will close in saying that at the end of one of the episodes of The Life of Birds, David spoke about the destruction of bird habitats that we are causing.  He said “We must care and protect them better than we are.”  I sat at the foot of my bed and wept.  And when I was through, I thought my God, David Attenborough has finally done it! He’s made me cry!  But it was a lovely cry because he is right.  We must do a far better job than we are doing in caring for the creatures and plant life whom we share this beautiful green planet with.  So THANK YOU DAVID!  THANK YOU!

 

Diane Lasek

 

Atlanta, Georgia

Writer/Producer

Children’s Environmental Educator/Activist

 @Iamwoodstock

Dear Sir David

 

For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of your documentaries, always watching them when I get the chance, even using them as a calming get away from my university studies.  One of the reasons I watch your documentaries rather than watching others, is the incredible passion that you have for your work which is reflected in each and every programme you present.  Very few people I find are able to reflect that passion across however two other wildlife workers have also managed to do this, they being Jonathon Scott and Simon King, the presenters of the show Big Cat Diary, which is another favourite wildlife programme that I love to watch.

I am currently a university student, graduating with a Bachelor of Zoology and currently doing Honours working with Pademelons.
I love animals, especially the big cats, to me they are magnificent creatures and I hope to one day work with them side by side, doing research or being able to follow in your footsteps and present a documentary the way in which you have done.

 

Sincerely,

 

Roechelle Devine

Dear Sir David,

One of my earliest childhood memories is of my Dad and I spending our weekends watching your documentaries. Our VHS copies of “The Trials of Life” were reduced to little more than scratchy segments after my favourite countless screenings of killer whales eating seals and watchmen gobies looking after their blind shrimp.

Your films have inspired me to pursue a degree in Environmental Science and share my passion for nature, and the marine environment in particular, in my current position as a science and marine studies teacher. “The Blue Planet” is a regular fixture in my classroom, and I love the looks of amazement on my students faces when  we watch my favourite episode on “The Deep” and they have a hard time believing the existence of the strange but wonderful creatures that inhabit the deep ocean.

There are not enough adjectives to describe how excited I am to see you in person in Sydney!

 

Thank you for your innovation and passion in presenting planet earth to the people.

Lara Pratt

 

Science Teacher

NSW, Australia

Dear David Attenborough

On the day the tickets became available for your events, I had three computers open as well as two smart phones.  I had no preference of location, or seat position.  In fact, I had already decided that if I miss out on a ticket, I will steal a uniform from wherever you are presenting, and just pretend to be a worker on the night.

Within minutes of becoming available to the public, the big red “SORRY THERE ARE NO SEATS AVAILABLE” sign began to flash online, and as for phone ticketing, I would have had a better chance of ordering pizza in Antarctica.

As the computers recovered from my frantic clicking, I found that I had purchased 3 tickets… on 2 different nights.  So Friday, 10th August, I will celebrate my 33rd birthday as one of the many faces in the crowd of the State Theatre in Sydney.

This is the madness that you inspire from people, I suspect not just in Australia but also from around the world.

I imagine that every person in the audience will have stories of how you have influenced, inspired, and captured their imagination.  Unlike many however, you did not come into my life because of a fascinated mother or father.  My mother’s interest in the natural world extended to somewhere between gardening and eradicating flies from the house.

Instead, when I was 8 I borrowed a tatty book written by some person called “Atten-burra”, well that is how the woman at the local library pronounced it.  “Life on Earth” was my first contact and a book that I still have, no not the library copy, I returned that… honest.

Then for the last 25 years, you have taken me by the hand to unimaginable places.  I remember the time when ‘we’ were splashed by that blue whale.  Though it was before I was born, it was a thrill to sit in the grass with you and watch that Toucan in Paraguay, although the mosquitoes were annoying.

At every level, you have inspired and will continue to inspire generations.

As an evolutionary biogeography (well PhD candidate), you have inspired me to experience these places for myself; and as the director of the Canberra Reptile Sanctuary, I see weekly how your work inspires the public.

Thank you, for exemplifying what you rightly describe as “extraordinary”,

Dustin Welbourne

PhD Candidate

Australia

Dustin is undertaking a PhD at the UNSW Canberra in Evolutionary Biogeography. He also has a love for science communication and is undertaken a Masters in Science Communication with the ANU and is the Director of the Canberra Reptile Sanctuary. He’s a Zone Winner from the first round of I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here Australia, 2012.  Dustin blogs at SlothyScience and can be found on Twitter @DustinWelbourne

Dear Sir David Attenborough,

You are the reason I study zoology. You inspired my passion for natural history when I was a small child in rural Australia watching your BBC programs. Programs that I think have given more to people around the world than any other form of television media. Your dedication and work helps to preserve and communicate the beauty, complexity and sheer brilliance of evolution and the natural world. I am so glad that you have endeavoured on your journey as I believe that your work will continue to inspire young scientists around the world for years to come!

Kindest Regards

Clarence Frederick Mercer

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