“My degree is in English. I haven’t a fucking clue about animals.”
Sir Attenborough revealed the truth in an interview with Gorillas Monthly. When asked why he has spent most of his life doing this job if he doesn’t know anything about the subject, he replied:
“I studied English, so my job prospects were pretty slim unless I wrote a bestseller or became a teacher, and teaching sounded too much like hard work. I got offered the job at the BBC because someone saw my CV and thought I was a naturalist. I’m actually a naturist. I just love being naked.
“In the end I stuck with the BBC work because working with gorillas is easier than working with English schoolkids. No one ever noticed. Once, someone made a mistake in the narration script about penguins but no one picked up on it. The episode even went out with the mistake in. No one knew. No one cared.”
Attenborough confessed that he has no idea what he’s saying half the time, and the other half he has no idea if it’s even true.
“It’s pretty much how most people live their lives anyway,” he said with a shrug. “We’re all winging it. As long as we keep up a good ratio of cute animals, true-sounding facts and barbaric animal sex, the viewers are happy.
“People believe whatever I say just because they like my voice and I remind them of their grandad. It’s pathetic really.”