Sir David Attenborough regrets being away up to three months a time when his children were younger
In a candid interview for Radio Times, the 91-year-old veteran wildlife presenter said work had meant he was away from family life a great deal.
Speaking to fellow programme maker Louis Theroux, who has two young sons aged nine and 11, Sir David said: “If I do have regrets, it is that when my children were the same age as your children, I was away for three months at a time.”
“If you have a child of six or eight and you miss three months of his or her life, it’s irreplaceable; you miss something. And I did.
"And my dear wife was very understanding about it. Perhaps you can’t have your cake and eat it. I mean, I’m not complaining, I’m just saying that."
David met Princess Anne and Prince Charles when they visited the BBC studios in 1958
If you have a child of six or eight and you miss three months of his or her life, it’s irreplaceable; you miss something. And I did.
Sir David Attenborough
But he said his loved ones had always shown understanding to his absences.
He said: “Well, there used to be family jokes. You know, ‘You were never there. You don’t remember that, Father, do you, because you weren’t there’.
“But you can’t have it all, can you? I damned near did.”
David met Elsa, one of the lions cared for by Joy and George Adamson in 1961 Sir David Attenborough in pictures Sun, May 8, 2016
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
English broadcaster and naturalist, the absolute legend that is Sir David Attenborough, a look through his best pictures.
PA 1 of 66
Sir David Attenborough turns 90
The much loved presenter also revealed that despite now being in his nineties and with a career spanning nearly 60 years, he still has no plans to stop working.
Asked if he had any plans to slow down, he explained: “No, I don’t – except to keep doing what I want to do.
“And if people ask, well, it’s perfectly simple: if I wanted to put my feet up and sit in the corner and slobber, then I could.
He also revealed that at 91, he now thought about his mortality ‘all the time’.
The full interview with Sir David Attenborough is in this week's Radio Times magazine.