Sir David Attenborough lines up fresh BBC landmark series

Veteran presenter scotches speculation about his retirement as he recovers from having a heart pacemaker fitted

Speculation about Sir David Attenborough's retirement has proved premature after the BBC confirmed plans for another landmark natural history series with the presenter.

Attenborough, now 87, is being lined up to present another BBC1 series on the scale of Planet Earth and Frozen Planet before he turns 90.

His more recent television projects have tended to be smaller-scale shows with less personal involvement, such as his 3D series for Sky, prompting speculation that he was stepping back from set-piece documentaries.

However, the BBC's head of science and natural history Kim Shillinglaw told the Radio Times: "Is it the end of David's landmark series? God no. He is doing a couple of things for us and there is a landmark in the pipeline which is quite a long way off."

She said the project would likely air in "two or three years' time" but the subject matter remains under wraps for now. Attenborough will also present a smaller-scale series about evolution for the BBC later this year.

The naturalist said recently that he had no intention of doing less – despite undergoing an urgent procedure to have a heart pacemaker fitted.

He said: "I've been broadcasting for 60 years. I don't want to slow down. Retirement would be so boring."

Asked about his plans earlier this year, he said: "I'm going to China to see some very interesting fossils. In 2012, I went to the Galapagos, to Africa, north America and Australia. I've no idea how many days I was away."

A spokesman for Attenborough said on Tuesday that doctors are "satisfied with his progress" following the pacemaker procedure.

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John Plunkett

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