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Former US President Barack Obama beats out David Attenborough for nature documentary Emmy

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Former US President Barack Obama beats out David Attenborough for nature documentary Emmy

Barack Obama has taken home an Emmy award for best narrator for his Netflix documentary series Our Great National Parks.

He's the former President of the United States, a two-time Grammy holder, and now an Emmy winner... is there anything Barack can’t do?

The former POTUS is now halfway to becoming an EGOT, meaning a recipient of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

We wouldn’t put it past him to achieve the distinction either.


The docu-series came from Barack and wife Michelle’s production company Higher Ground, founded in 2018.

The five-part series explores national parks worldwide, spanning five continents, including locations such as Chilean Patagonia, Indonesia, Kenya, California, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. 

The five episodes aired on Netflix as part of Higher Ground’s multi-year deal with the streaming company to produce a mix of scripted and unscripted content. 


And if there was any indication of the talent in Obama’s narration skills then the fact that he beat out the world-renowned David Attenborough for the award must be it. 

The 96-year-old was nominated for the BBC Earth documentary series The Mating Game which looked at the weird and wonderful courting and companion habits in the natural world.

Other nominees included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and W. Kamau Bell.


Obama becomes only the second US President to be awarded an Emmy, with Dwight Eisenhower winning an honorary award in 1956.

Eisenhower took home the esteemed prize after becoming the first president to conduct a televised news conference. 

Mr Obama isn’t a stranger to being recognised by the entertainment industry.

The 44th President won Grammy Awards for audio version of his memoirs The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father.


Higher Ground is becoming more and more recognised as well, with the 2019 documentary American Factory awarded an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Perhaps we’ll see Mr Obama on the silver screen flexing his acting chops in the near future if he’s after that EGOT status.

Only 17 people have claimed EGOT status thus far, including the likes of Mel Brooks, Jenifer Hudson, Whoopie Goldberg, and Audrey Hepburn.

The late Chadwick Boseman was also awarded an Emmy for his voicework.


The Black Panther actor won the Emmy for outstanding character voiceover for the Disney+ and Marvel Studios animated show What If?

He voiced his Marvel character T’Challa in the series and it was one of the last projects he worked on.

Featured Image Credit: Sara Stathas / Alamy. JEP Celebrity Photos / Alamy.

Topics: Barack Obama, David Attenborough, Netflix, Documentaries, Environment

Jayden Collins
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