When will the next David Attenborough show up?

David Attenborough has done more to bring Nature and wildlife to the world’s television audiences than anybody else in the past half century.

Growing up in teh 1980s, I watched his pioneering series Life on Earth (1979) and The Living Planet. These series redefined how natural history documentaries were made, and inspired a whole new generation of film-makers and nature lovers.

Sir David Attenborough

Attenborough went on to make several more trail-blazing series, such as The Trials of Life (1990), The Life of Birds (1998) and The Life of Mammals (2002).

He has also produced a large number of stand-alone documentaries, and narrated an astonishing number of films and series, including the multi-award-winning Blue Planet (2001) and Planet Earth (2006).

Image courtesy Wikipedia Image courtesy Wikipedia Image courtesy Wikipedia

I have always been grateful for his inspiration. But Sir David earned my eternal respect when I read in his biography how he had given up British broadcasting’s most coveted post so he could concentrate on what he did best: making natural history films. From 1969 to 1972, he was BBC Television’s Director of Programmes (making him responsible overall for both BBC1 and BBC2), but turned down the offer to become Director General of the BBC. In 1972, he resigned his post and returned to programme making.

I recently came across the following news item, which reminds us that like all creatures big and small in the great Circle of Life that Sir David has so avidly told us about, he too is mortal. At 81, it’s time for the world to look for the next David Attenborough.

This item is from the latest newsletter of Film-makers for Conservation, a network organisation where my company, TVE Asia Pacific, has recently become a member.

New reality TV show to discover the next Attenborough

Join wildlife filmmaking finalist Bryan Grayson as he talks about his journey from engineer to wildlife film maker and discusses his hopes of being the next David Attenborough

David Attenborough, David Bellamy and Steve Irwin. All great men who have brought the wonder of nature to our front rooms. They have worked in some of the worlds most amazing and dangerous locations to show us the beauty, innocence and sometimes savagery of the animal kingdom.

Imagine filming rhinos in Africa, whales in the South Pacific or being within an arms reach of gorillas in the rainforest. Well now a unique new television project will follow six contestants as they embark on a demanding training course at the award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa, where they will learn the essential skills and realities of creating a natural history documentary.

Thousands of people entered Animal Planet’s search for amateur film-makers to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime intensive filmmaking course with experts Andrew Barron and Lyndal Davies. The entrants, from across the globe, were filtered down to a final six and Bryon Grayson is the only UK finalist.

But exactly how do you cope with filming a charging herd of wildebeest, learn to track an elusive leopard and deal with stroppy presenters!? Here with the answers is the UK’s contestant, Bryan Grayson. He joins us to share some of his tricks of the trade and offers his advice to all other budding filmmakers.

Bryan Grayson joins us online at http://www.webchats.tv/webchat.php?ID=372 to discuss his hopes for being Animal Planet’s Unearthed wildlife filmmaker after taking part in this remarkable series.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a wildlife filmmaker? Enter here for your chance to appear in series two of UNEARTHED

Watch Unearthed promo video on Google Video

TVE Asia Pacific joins Film-makers for Conservation