David Attenborough joins Instagram – and leaves Jennifer Aniston in the dust

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The legendary broadcaster stepped out of his comfort zone and joined the world of social media. And in less than five hours, he’d acquired more than a million followers, setting a new record.

“I am making this move... because, as we all know, the world is in trouble," 94-year-old Sir David Attenborough said in his first post on the platform.

"Continents are on fire. Glaciers are melting. Coral reefs are dying... The list goes on and on. Saving our planet is now a communications challenge.”

And it was a message that resonated with Instagram users – within four hours and 44 minutes he’d acquired a million followers, shattering the record previously held by actress Jennifer Aniston.

The much-loved TV and radio personality was welcomed with open arms by adoring fans, with his account attracting more than 4,7 million followers within days.

His Instagram debut comes ahead of his latest documentary project, A Life on Our Planet, set to air on Netflix from 4 October, in which he makes his hardest hitting statement about the effects of climate change.

According to David, he plans on using his Instagram platform to drive home this message by sharing videos explaining “what the problems are and how we can deal with them”.

Thus far he doesn’t appear to follow any account. Reacting to his Instagram record, he said it gives him “great hope” that the younger generation is concerned by the climate crisis.

“It’s their world and it’s their tomorrow. I won’t be there, they will be. It’s theirs and if they aren’t persuaded that it’s important, we’re wasting our time,” he said.

“I feel privileged that they should listen to what an old bloke like me is talking about.”

A living legend: Sir David Attenborough’s greatest achievements

Emmy wins

Earlier this month, David received an Emmy for his work on BBC America documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet which is his third consecutive win for outstanding narrator.

One of the greatest Britons

In 2002, the national treasure was honoured as one of the 100 Greatest Britons in a poll conducted by the BBC.

Royal honour

The naturalist was knighted in 1985 following his work with the BBC and his contribution to education, conservation and environmental affairs.


David has travelled well over 400 000km around the world – that’s 10 times around the planet and counting. Only astronauts have covered more distance than he has.

Innovation in nature documentaries

Over the years he and his crew have developed new approaches to filming animals using hidden cameras, slow-motion footage and innovative cinematography techniques to allow viewers to fully immerse themselves in his series.

Source: Stuff, BBC, Radio Times, Britannica, BBC America

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