Of all his amazing experiences, the television legend recalls his first dive on the reef as the most memorable. But it’s dying before our eyes

The patron saint of quality television is 90 years old today. When his Great Barrier Reef series was broadcast at the start of the year, it was reported that this was likely to be his last series, or at least his last made on location. But it’s difficult to believe David Attenborough won’t always be around. For most people who grew up in 20th-century Britain, he is not just a national treasure but a permanent fixture. But then, that’s what we thought about the Great Barrier Reef.

Just before the reef series was broadcast, Attenborough told a journalist that his first dive on the reef is the moment in his career he remembers most vividly: “Suddenly, this amazing world with a thousand things you didn’t know existed is revealed right in front of you, all wonderful colours and shapes. On land, the rainforest is comparable – but the difference is, you can walk for a day and see absolutely nothing. ‘Where are all these bloody monkeys they are always on about?’ But on a reef you see everything immediately.”

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Source: Guardian Environment