Recently, I saw some episodes of Planet Earth (including the absolutely mind-blowing “Caves”) on the Discovery Channel and I started complaining about the replacement of the original British narrator with Sigourney Weaver. Don’t get me wrong, I think Weaver is a gutsy actress and good speaker (and I relate to Rick Moranis’ nerdy neighbor character’s infatuation with her in Ghostbusters). But I couldn’t help think that some milquetoast studio executive or focus group whined about whether American audiences could handle listening to a British accent. We can! It’s not like a nature documentary would be full of obscure British slang like “bits and bobs,” “claggy,” “gob,” or “gammy,” when describing the feeding habits of the blind salamander.
Anyway, to finally come to the titular point of this post, when I was crabbing about the replaced British narrator for the American broadcast, I stated that I thought highly of Richard Attenborough. Oops! Planet Earth was hosted by David Attenborough.
They’re both good guys and here’s my quick guide to them:
David Attenborough (1926- ):
- hosted many TV wildlife specials since the 1950s including Planet Earth
- younger brother of Richard (see below)
Richard Attenborough (1923 -):
- actor and director
- directed the highly acclaimed film Gandhi
- starred in The Great Escape (possibly my favorite war movie)
- older brother of David (see above)
There you go. Don’t make a faux pas like I did next time you’re hanging out with the nature documentary crowd.
p.s. Bits and bobs = bits and pieces, claggy [of clothes] = wet and uncomfortable, gob = the mouth or a slimy lump, gammy = injured.