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Sir David Attenborough nearly breaks the internet with conservation message


26 September 2020 at 12:00 pm
Maggie Coggan
The veteran broadcaster and conservationist attracted over a million Instagram followers in just a few hours


Maggie Coggan | 26 September 2020 at 12:00 pm


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Sir David Attenborough nearly breaks the internet with conservation message
26 September 2020 at 12:00 pm

The veteran broadcaster and conservationist attracted over a million Instagram followers in just a few hours 

While most of us are used to hearing Sir David Attenborough’s voice over the top of nature documentaries, the beloved broadcaster has turned to a new platform to spread his environmental message. 

Attenborough’s first Instagram post delivered a sombre message explaining why he had signed up to the platform, and that saving the planet was now “a communications challenge”.  

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

“I am making this move… because, as we all know, the world is in trouble,” he said in his first video message on the social media platform.

“Continents are on fire. Glaciers are melting. Coral reefs are dying… The list goes on and on,” he continued.

The new medium hasn’t stopped the 94-year-old captivating global audiences either, with the account now boasting over 2 million followers, hours after the first post was made.  

He said he would use the account to share videos explaining the problems and how we can solve them.

“Join me – or as we used to say in those early days of radio, stay tuned,” he said.   

Frequent collaborators Jonnie Hughes and Colin Butfield will help manage the account and its various technical aspects.

Attenborough’s Instagram debut also coincided with the Global Day of Action against climate action, which saw over 3,000 protest events run by school children hosted across the world on Friday. 

In Australia, around 500 small online and physical events were held across the country, against government funded gas projects as a way to reboot the post-COVID economy.   


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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