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2 items from 2013

Sir David Attenborough on babies, retirement and China: Interview

19 September 2013 12:00 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

British broadcasting icon Sir David Attenborough returns to our TV screens this week, fronting the sequel to his hit 2010 series First Life.

David Attenborough's Rise of Animals follows the evolution of vertebrates over the past 500 million years and like all of the naturalist's projects, it makes utterly compelling television.

Digital Spy was lucky enough to have a quick interview with Attenborough about the show, his life and why you'll never hear him talking to us about margarine.

On Monday mornings

"I used to have an office job at the BBC for eight years. Monday morning was Monday morning then. But you're right, Monday isn't particularly Monday morning any more. I'm very lucky in that sense."

On returning to China for his new show

"It's changed hugely. When I first went it was a very, very alien place. So I was intrigued to go back this time and in many ways it was depressingly Europeanised. »

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David Attenborough: big BBC salaries are huge embarrassment

10 September 2013 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Presenter says he fears row over payoffs could damage corporation and funding cut would be 'catastrophe'

Sir David Attenborough, one of the BBC's longest-standing presenters, has described the big salaries of senior management as a "huge embarrassment" and said it would be a "catastrophe" if the corporation's funding was cut.

Attenborough spoke out in the wake of the latest controversy around executive pay at the BBC, where £60m was paid to outgoing executives over an eight-year period, including more than £1m to the former deputy director general Mark Byford. BBC executives past and present were roundly condemned by MPs on the Commons public accounts committee on Monday, with its chair, the Labour MP Margaret Hodge, accusing them of "covering their backs" over the payoff scandal.

Speaking on Monday, just before the committee hearing, the naturalist and broadcaster, whose latest BBC2 series, Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates, begins later this month, »

- John Plunkett

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