Historicising David Attenborough’s nature: nation, continent, country and environment

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Recognising his association with Australia over the course of decades, this essay explores how Sir David Attenborough’s programmes ‘remake’ Australian nature for global audiences. It examines not only Attenborough himself, but offers equal weight to the human and nonhuman world he brings to audiences. Offering an examination of ‘blue chip’ natural history programming and the two series that bookend Attenborough’s work as a presenter ‘in’ and ‘of’ Australia–Quest Under Capricorn (1963a, 1963b, 1963c and 1963d) and Life in Cold Blood (2008a, 2008b), it is attuned to historical and contemporary cultures of colonisation and how these are located within the values and practices of blue-chip natural history programming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-365
Number of pages22
JournalCelebrity Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Australia
  • British broadcasting corporation
  • David Attenborough
  • environment
  • indigenous culture
  • natural history programming: wildlife television

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