Friends of Richmond Park

Sir David Attenborough Has Admitted He's "Coming to Terms" With Memory Loss

"There were these searing yellow fields and I can't think of the damn name."

BEC CREW
27 APR 2017
 

At almost 91 years old and still going strong, Sir David Attenborough is everything the rest of us hope to be at near-centenarian age.

He's recently finished travelling the globe to film Planet Earth II - the most-watched nature documentary in history - but after more than six decades of broadcasting, Attenborough has revealed that filming wasn't as easy this time around.

 

Speaking with James Dunn at The Sunday Telegraph, Attenborough admitted that he's "coming to terms" with the kind of memory loss that naturally comes with old age, explaining that it took him longer to write scripts because the "proper names" of things are getting harder to recall.

But before we freak out about everyone's favourite naturalist succumbing to the ravages of ageing, let's be real here - the bar was already set at near-superhuman levels, so memory loss for Sir David Attenborough looks like a regular day for mere mortals like us.

Recalling a recent trip to the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, Attenborough revealed that his memory bank of scientific terms is shrinking, which means he might have to rely on Google every once in a while to jog his memory.

"There were these searing yellow fields, and I can't think of the damn name," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

"I wanted to say something about it, but I couldn't, and it wasn't until we got quite close to Geneva that I thought, of course, oil seed rape."

While Attenborough admits he's "running into problems" with his memory, the good news for all of us is he has no plans on slowing down, saying just last year that retirement is as far from his mind as giving up on the planet.

 

"Retire? I'll never tire of the natural world," he told James Rampton at The Independent in 2016.

"Putting your feet up is all very well, but it's very boring, isn't it?"

Even after hosting and narrating history's most popular documentary series last year, the broadcasting icon hasn't taken a break, announcing a new short film on London's famous Richmond Park just this week.

The park, which is the biggest enclosed space in London, receives foot traffic from 5.5 million visitors every year - and with that number steadily increasing, conservationists are urging people to tread lightly.

"I want the message of the film to be exactly what it says at the end: take nothing away and leave nothing there," Attenborough told the Richmond & Twickenham Times.

You can watch the new film in full below, and see why Attenborough counts it as one of his life's inspirations:

What an absolute legend.

More From ScienceAlert

Cyborg bacteria covered in tiny solar panels are changing the future of clean fuel
32 minutes ago
Disney is developing an AI that can judge what makes for a truly great story

Can they crack the magic of storytelling with a neural network?

1 hour ago