From his home, Attenborough shows viewers ‘A Perfect Planet’


LONDON (AP) – Sir David Attenborough has been a globetrotter, discovering faraway lands and exotic species for viewers since the 1950s. The pandemic may have kept him at home for much of 2020, but that hasn’t stopped the legendary host from continuing his work to bring the world to action on climate change.

Attenborough recorded one of his signature voice overs – warm, calm and full of contagious fascination with the natural world – for the new BBC and Discovery series “A Perfect Planet”, which arrives in early January.

Staying at home hasn’t completely cut Attenborough, 94, off nature.

“I saw the world go by in the natural world of my garden with a continuity and an intensity that I couldn’t give it, almost forever, really.

He only left home twice to go to the dentist.

The recording of “A Perfect Planet” required redecorating the dining room at Attenborough’s house in West London.

Eiderdowns or quilts hung around the walls to muffle any echo and a tech setup allowed Attenborough to see the footage, as executive producer Alastair Fothergill advised, over 100 miles away in Bristol.

The microphone cable came out the window so that the sound could be recorded by a crew member in the garden.

“He now has a caboose because winter has arrived, we have a hut for him. But in the summer he was sitting in the rain and he was listening to what I was saying and recording it, ”Attenborough said.

It wasn’t the only remote-controlled achievement in the series.

The musical soundtrack – accompanying thousands of flamingos nesting in the salty lakes of Central Africa hostile to Christmas Island red crabs migrating from the forest to the Indian Ocean – was also recorded remotely.

“Our wonderful composer (Ilan Ishkeri) worked with an orchestra in Iceland because Iceland was not very locked up. They had very little COVID. He actually directed and conducted this orchestra from the UK, ”says Fothergill.

“It was difficult. But I think the end product absolutely lives up to the really high standards we’ve set for ourselves.

The premise of the series is a celebration of why Earth is the perfect environment for so many different species to live and coexist. Shot in 31 countries, it took 4 years and six volcanic eruptions to collect close-up footage, including river turtles laying eggs in Amazonian sandbanks, brown bears fishing for salmon in Russia, and rocking gibbons of the tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

Different episodes examine the essential roles played by the sun, the ocean, volcanoes, weather and of course humans.

Everything Attenborough does is about the climate crisis and what people can do, and what they should stop doing, to help save this delicate ecosystem.

Initially disappointed that the United Nations Climate Change Conference was postponed until next year, the presenter and activist hopes that a “perfect planet” will give the event a “boost”.

“It is very important to offer solutions to people. I think otherwise people put their heads in the sand. You have to tell them what they can do to help change things, ”said Fothergill, who is a longtime Attenborough collaborator.

As for the way nature healed during the pandemic, Attenborough knows it costs a lot: “People are dying by the thousands. Do not minimize it.

“It should get the rest of us, the survivors so to speak, to pull ourselves together and see that we can act together,” he said. “We can think of solutions, analyze them and apply them internationally.”

It’s a message …

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