Favourite Attenborough Moments

Favourite Attenborough Moments is the name of a television poll conducted by the UKTV Documentary channel in 2006. The poll called on members of the British public to vote for their favourite moment from Sir David Attenborough's 50-year career in broadcasting.


The format consisted of two programmes. My Favourite Attenborough Moment was the first, broadcast on 15 April 2006. Celebrity admirers of Attenborough's work (including Joanna Lumley, Björk and several presenters and producers from the BBC Natural History Unit) introduced a shortlist of twenty highlights from Attenborough's nature documentaries and advocated their particular favourites. The second programme, Your Favourite Attenborough Moment, counted down the same twenty clips in the order of votes received from the viewers. It was broadcast on 7 May 2006, the day before Attenborough's 80th birthday, and featured interviews with Attenborough in which he described the experiences of filming them.


The results are summarised below. The winning sequence was the lyrebird featured in The Life of Birds, which polled almost a quarter of the 13,000 votes cast. The mountain gorilla encounter from Life on Earth came second with 17% of the votes and the blue whale sequence from The Life of Mammals was third with 15%.[1]

RankSequenceSeriesAdvocated by
1Attenborough observes a lyrebird mimicking various noisesThe Life of BirdsBill Oddie
2A close encounter with mountain gorillas in RwandaLife on EarthSanjeev Bhaskar
3Attenborough watches a blue whale surface alongside his boatThe Life of MammalsAlan Titchmarsh
4His description of the demise of Easter Island's Rapa Nui civilisationState of the PlanetCharlotte Uhlenbroek
5Chimpanzees using tools to crack nutsThe Life of MammalsCharlotte Uhlenbroek
6Attenborough in shot with a grizzly bear fishing for salmonThe Life of MammalsSteve Leonard
7Luring a Magellanic Woodpecker by imitating the sound of it drilling a holeThe Life of BirdsRay Mears
8Tripped up by a displaying male capercaillieThe Life of BirdsBill Oddie
9Chimpanzees wading through water on two feetThe Life of MammalsGavin Thurston
10Observing a male Vogelkop Bowerbird's displayAttenborough in ParadiseJoanna Lumley
11Watching elephants mining salt in a Kenyan mountain caveThe Life of MammalsJoanna Lumley
12Tracking chimpanzees as they chase and kill a colobus monkeyThe Trials of LifeAlastair Fothergill
13Mexican free-tailed bats leaving a cave and Attenborough releasing one of their youngThe Trials of LifeRory McGrath
14Attenborough defends himself from a bellowing bull elephant sealLife in the FreezerBjörk
15A wandering albatross chick and its parentLife in the FreezerEllen MacArthur
16The mass migration and spawning of 100 million Christmas Island red crabsThe Trials of LifeSimon King
17Attenborough hoists himself into the forest canopy to watch gibbons at close quartersThe Life of MammalsSteve Leonard
18Burrowing under a termite mound to demonstrate its cooling systemThe Trials of LifeBjörk
19Describing the titan arum, a contender for the world's largest flowerThe Private Life of PlantsAlan Titchmarsh
20Illustrating plant aggression using innovative timelapse footage of bramblesThe Private Life of PlantsRory McGrath

Many of the shortlisted clips are available on the BBC Earth Youtube channel. The lyrebird clip has been viewed more than 3 million times since it was first made available.[2] Web users in the UK can also find them, along with many other clips, in the David Attenborough's Favourite Moments collection on the BBC Wildlife Finder.


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