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David Attenborough: Life on Air Paperback – September 4, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (September 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563487801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563487807
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In this volume of memoirs Britain's best-known natural history film-maker tells the stories of the people and the animals he has met and the places that he has visited. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sir David Attenborough is Britain's best-known natural history film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited.

Sir David's first job - after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy - was at the London publishing house Hodder & Stoughton. Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat.

He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing.

Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading natural history programme maker with several landmark BBC series, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), The Private Life of Plants (1995), Life of Birds (1998), Life of Mammals (2002) and Life in the Undergrowth (2005). Sir David is a Trustee of the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge; a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1985.

Customer Reviews

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With his never boring way of telling us things, of course the book is a must buy!
Michelle Ng Wei Li
David Attenborough's 'Life on Air' gives a fascinating insight into the work of a true gentle man of the airwaves.
A. Byrne
Obviously he present it very well as it's his career, but also this is highly educational and entertaining.
Marco Rossini

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andy Wright on January 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
While mentioning several highpoints in his childhood, David Attenborough's book mainly covers his working career upon graduation from university. Most people will be familiar with his animal and natural world documentaries from the late 80s onwards. I was surprised that he almost fell into the BBC and that he first started his involvement in natural history in the 1950s. He covers in great detail the problems encountered in broadcasting live from the studio during the infancy of television and the limitations of filming in the wild with basic equipment. David Attenborough, besides being famous for his documentaries, is also one of TV's pioneers. For a long time as well, he was senior management within the BBC and largely responsible for a lot of the programming that that boradcaster produced in the 60s and 70s. This surprised me as I was only familiar with his later documentary work.

Told with a lot of humour, the reader will meet all manner of fascinating people and animals in every corner of the world. This man has done more in his life than any of us will ever do and he has shared it with us on screen and in this marvellous book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Byrne on July 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
David Attenborough's 'Life on Air' gives a fascinating insight into the work of a true gentle man of the airwaves.

The book is entirely readible with several unexpected laughs in store.

A master at understating his own achievements, Attenborough tells the story of his work with the BBC, spanning an incredible fifty years. Often facing the worst inconveniences of tropical insects for days on end to get illusive shots of nature's wonders, he has tirelessly laboured to bring precious knowledge to the world of the richness of our planet.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marco Rossini on February 20, 2011
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Every body knows how professional, intelligent and brilliant David Attenborough is when he does his job. But in disc 1 he reveals that even David Attenborough had times of struggling and had to make the biggest decisions of life when he was a youth. This is good to know that he wasn't perfect or genius right from the beginning, but his brilliance was the accumulation of experience and due to his constant, unremitting efforts. This gives me (and I imagine most listeners) a lot of courage and energy, as I'm at the point of making an important decision about my future myself.

This was originally an semi-autobiographical book and is ready by Attenborough himself. But the unique thing about this product is that this autobiography is an audio format, so what kind of vision we see is completely up to our imaginations, which I like very much about.

Obviously he present it very well as it's his career, but also this is highly educational and entertaining.

The good thing about CD books is that you could listen to them at any time while you're doing something else, such as cooking or driving, and you can learn variety of things from someone else's experience. If you fit into one of these categories; (1) a David Attenborough fan, (2) animal lover, (3) a nature fanatic, (4) a BBC Radio 4 listener and/or (5) an audio book lover, I grantee you'll enjoy listening to these CDs. This set has 16 CDs in total, so it will keep you going for a while!

I hope you'll like it and enjoy it as much as I did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. LH Salwiczek on February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Attenborough is a master of the English language; it is an absolute pleasure to read as well as to listen to his book. He presents his life travelling the world for collecting and filming animals and plants with his typical humour. His private life is rarely mentioned, just some corner events like marriage, child birth, death of his beloved wife. It is, however, an excellent biography about the BBC from its low budget beginning to the point of today's multi-billion enterprise. His jocular way describing disappointing, difficult and possibly even dangerous situation might remind the reader of English understatement or - much better - serve as an attitude to be acquired. It was a delight for me to read the book, and I have recommended it several times to fellow biologists - all agreed: it's another David Attenborough masterpiece.
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