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.

• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".

• To get the latest media news to your desktop or mobile, follow MediaGuardian on Twitter and Facebook


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

David Attenborough: big BBC salaries are huge embarrassment
Presenter says he fears row over payoffs could damage corporation and funding cut would be 'catastrophe'

John Plunkett

10, Sep, 2013 @11:05 PM

Article image
Sir David Attenborough to return for BBC's Blue Planet II
Seven-episode series to air this year will include footage of newly discovered and never-before filmed creatures

Jasper Jackson

20, Feb, 2017 @1:15 PM

Article image
David Attenborough: changing viewing habits may halt future landmark series
Veteran broadcaster says funding future series like Life on Earth may become impossible due to fragmented audiences. By Natalie Gil

Natalie Gil

25, Apr, 2014 @12:31 PM

Article image
Sir David Attenborough passes natural history crown to Brian Cox

Veteran broadcaster says 'if I had a torch I would hand it' to former pop star turned particle physicist professor. By John Plunkett

John Plunkett

30, Jan, 2013 @3:36 PM

Article image
David Attenborough calls for more BBC arts coverage
Veteran broadcaster pushes corporation to showcase new attitudes and voices.

Aamna Mohdin

24, Sep, 2018 @11:01 PM

Article image
BBC series Planet Earth II will be unparalleled, says Attenborough
Shot over three years in 40 countries, the spectacular wildlife blockbuster returns after a decade hiatus with a high-definition twist

Esther Addley

28, Oct, 2016 @11:01 PM

Article image
David Attenborough: I'll retire if my work becomes substandard
In rare comments on prospect of retirement, Blue Planet II narrator says physical problems could also force him to quit

Graham Ruddick

03, Jan, 2018 @12:01 AM

Article image
David Attenborough to present Netflix nature series Our Planet
Broadcaster synonymous with BBC documentaries will record voiceover for eight-part series

Jim Waterson Media editor

08, Nov, 2018 @8:30 PM

Article image
'A successor to David Attenborough? That's impossible'

As the nation's voice of science and natural history nears retirement, a host of presenters prepare to take up the mantle

Esther Addley

01, Feb, 2013 @6:22 PM

Article image
Attenborough to front new BBC nature series One Planet, Seven Worlds
Veteran broadcaster to feature in new series exploring how the continents shaped their unique animal life

Tara Conlan

31, Jan, 2019 @9:00 PM