Sir David Attenborough is on Instagram! On Thursday, 24 Sept, the 94-year-old broadcaster, natural historian, and environmental activist revealed his account (verified, of course), explaining that he hopes to use the social platform to help spread awareness around climate change and the trouble our planet is in due to global warming.
While we love the idea of Sir David sliding into to our DMs and learning how to make a Reel, the account is actually managed by Jonnie Hughes and Colin Butfield, the filmmakers of his Netflix documentary A Life on Our Planet. “Expect us and others to share our experiences making the film and working with David, alongside messages from the man himself,” the pair announced via Instagram stories.
For @davidattenborough’s first post, the team shared a video of Sir David addressing his followers and offering a stark warning about climate change and the need to act fast to help save our planet. “I’ve been appearing on radio and television for the past 60 years, but this is my first time on Instagram. And I’m 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,” Sir David says in the short clip. “But we know what to do about it. And that’s why I’m tackling this new way (for me) of communication.”
The video was accompanied by the following caption: “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,” the message continued. “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.”
After just three hours of the account going live, Sir David racked up one million followers, with the number climbing exponentially every time you refresh the page. His first post has been watched by 1.7 million people, with stars like Sir Andy Murray and Joe Wicks showing support in the comments section, and David Beckham welcoming him to the platform on his own Instagram account.
Sir David ended his message by setting out his plan for the account. “Over the next few weeks, I’ll be recording messages to explain what the problems are and how we can deal with them. Join me. Or as we used today in those early days of radio, stay tuned.”