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David Attenborough brings viewers to tears as he makes 'urgent final plea'

Joe Harker

| Last updated 

Today (8 May) is Sir David Attenborough's 97th birthday and plenty are paying tribute to a national treasure who holds a special place in the heart of millions.

If you've seen his name trending on social media and had a brief pang of terror that it might be bad news then don't worry, today is a day to celebrate this wonderful man and everything he's brought generation after generation.

He's trending because tributes are pouring in from all over the world to thank him for everything he's done to champion the cause of nature and protecting the environment.

While he's a good 30 years past retirement age, the star hasn't stopped - having recently broadcast a new nature series called Wild Isles, with another show about a giant sea monster in the pipeline.


Wild Isles saw him get up close and personal with nature again and it was a joy to behold, but many are also remembering that amid the joy his shows bring is the very real danger presented by climate change.

Sir David Attenborough getting up close and personal with a Manx shearwater chick. Credit: BBC/Silverback Films
Sir David Attenborough getting up close and personal with a Manx shearwater chick. Credit: BBC/Silverback Films

People are also remembering the vital message Sir David gave at the end of Frozen Planet II which many thought felt like his 'urgent final plea'.

Sad as it may be to even think of there is going to be a point where we're living in a world without Sir David Attenborough, in recent years the legendary broadcaster's shows have felt like they've been imparted with the messages he wants to leave behind, with his Frozen Planet II send-off being most poignant of all.


In the message he spoke of the commitment made by 120 nations at COP26 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, saying we had to stick to that target 'to stand any chance of saving what remains of our frozen planet'.

Sir David implored people to 'honour it no matter how challenging it might be'.

He said: "We can do it, it's within our power to do it. We can do it. We must do it. Then there will be a future for the planet."



The message brought viewers to tears when they watched it as viewers found the whole thing 'heartbreaking' and said they 'just wept'.

One said 'never have there been more powerful words' from Attenborough, as others acknowledged there was a dreadful sense of finality over the message both due to Sir David's age and the dire situation our world has been plunged into.

Sir David himself has said that the most heartbreaking moments of his career have come when he's witnessed the destruction of the natural world at the hands of human beings and urged people to rediscover their fascination with nature.

One of his pieces of advice for people to do this was to find some spot of nature and simply sit down and observe your surroundings for about 10 minutes, betting that you'd see something pretty interesting.

Topics: David Attenborough, Sir David Attenborough, Environment, TV and Film

Joe Harker
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