Rats Scare Me! Natural History King Sir David Attenborough Has Seen It All in 60 Years of Programme Making - Including the Tiny Creatures Which Petrify Him BOOKS 2

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), July 9, 2011 | Go to article overview

Rats Scare Me! Natural History King Sir David Attenborough Has Seen It All in 60 Years of Programme Making - Including the Tiny Creatures Which Petrify Him BOOKS 2


I really, really hate rats. I've handled deadly spiders, snakes and scorpions without batting an eyelid, but if I see a rat I'll be the first to run. I don't mean that I mildly dislike them as I dislike, let us say, maggots. I mean that if a rat appears in a room, I have to work hard to prevent myself from jumping on the nearest table!

It all started when I was staying in a thatched hut in a village in the Solomon Islands. I was out there filming, when a thunderstorm broke out one night. As I lay with my eyes closed, trying to sleep, I felt a movement on the sheet around my feet. I flicked on my torch and there was a rat running across me. I looked around. There were rats everywhere. Needless to say, I abandoned the hut.

Then there was the time I was filming at a temple in India. There were rats everywhere - literally. Returning early to the lodge one night, I sat on the toilet and a rat leapt up from between my thighs, scampered off and hid under my bed. The fact is that out in the bush, animals are frightened of you and if things get rough, you can always do something to scare them off. The thing about rats is that they are not scared off and they actually invade the area where you think you are boss. On top of that, they are associated with disease and filth. They do, after all, live in sewers. But I suspect that my irrational horror of them comes from the fact that they live at such close quarters with us and while they sensibly keep out of the way when they can, they don't have any real fear of us.

I'm 85 now and I've been broadcasting for 60 years. I can't slow down. Last year I filmed a new series, Frozen Planet, at the North and South Poles, which will be shown this autumn. Later this year I'm off to film in Borneo and I'm also working on a new 3D series about plants in Kew, which is near my home in Richmond, Surrey. Other younger natural history presenters have a more confrontational 'look at me' style than my own. They are merely adventure programmes, while natural history is the supporting cast. They are deliberately programmes where someone who the audience can identify with will be meeting snakes or whatever it is, which is a slightly different type of programme. I'd done adventure programmes back in the '50s. But in more recent years I've tried to do programmes where natural history is the star.

But there's a place for all the programmes, such as crocodile hunting with the late Steve Irwin, or Deadly 60 with Steve Backshall. Very often people will be drawn to a programme because it's a 'Boys' Own' adventure, discover that natural history in itself is rather interesting and will try other programmes. I don't think the adventure programmes are damaging, providing you don't mistreat the animals. If Steve Irwin is to be criticised at all - and I should add that I think he did a hell of a lot of good and gave vast sums of money to nature conservation - sometimes natural history seemed more of a supporting act for Steve to grapple with.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rats Scare Me! Natural History King Sir David Attenborough Has Seen It All in 60 Years of Programme Making - Including the Tiny Creatures Which Petrify Him BOOKS 2
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.