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Sir David Attenborough joins Instagram to warn ‘the world is in trouble’

Sir David Attenborough in the Maasai Mara in Kenya while filming David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Conor McDonnell/WWF-UK/PA)
Sir David Attenborough in the Maasai Mara in Kenya while filming David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Conor McDonnell/WWF-UK/PA)

Sir David Attenborough has joined Instagram, using his debut post to warn “saving our planet is now a communications challenge”.

The veteran broadcaster, 94, shared a video message on Thursday in which he explained his reasons for joining the social media platform after a 60-year career in TV and radio.

Within an hour of his first post, Sir David had already gained more than 200,000 followers.

In a piece to camera, he says: “I am making this move and exploring this new way of communication to me because, as we all know, the world is in trouble.

“Continents are on fire. Glaciers are melting. Coral reefs are dying. Fish are disappearing from our oceans. The list goes on and on.”

Over the next few weeks Sir David will share video messages explaining “what the problems are and how we can deal with them”.

View this post on Instagram

David Attenborough has spent a lifetime travelling, exploring the wild places of our planet and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. He’s also witnessed the damaged caused. Saving our planet is now a communications challenge. We know what to do, we just need the will. That’s why we want to share this message on Instagram. Because there is hope and together, we can inspire change. Social media isn’t David’s usual habitat so while he’s recorded messages solely for Instagram, like the one in this post, we're helping to run this account. In case you’re wondering, ‘we’ are Jonnie and Colin and we worked with David on A Life On Our Planet. So, as well as sharing the messages he’s recorded especially for this account we’ll also post some exclusive clips and behind the scenes content. Stay tuned.

A post shared by A Life On Our Planet (@davidattenborough) on

Concluding his debut message, Sir David says: “Join me, or as we used to say in those early days of radio, stay tuned.”

Frequent collaborators Jonnie Hughes and Colin Butfield, who worked on Sir David’s upcoming film and book – both titled A Life On Our Planet – will help manage the account.

The pair shared a joint message alongside the clip, noting that “social media isn’t David’s usual habitat” and that they would be running the technical aspects for him.

The account will also feature clips and behind the scenes content from his regular collaborators, the conservation charity WWF and Silverback Films.

Sir David’s forthcoming book and Netflix documentary, both titled A Life On Our Planet, will see him reflect on his career exploring and documenting the natural world.

They will also focus on the decline of the planet’s environment and biodiversity he has observed firsthand.

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet premieres in cinemas on September 28, featuring an exclusive conversation with Sir David and Sir Michael Palin. The film will launch on Netflix on October 4. The book is published on October 1.

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