Sir David Attenborough Receives City Honor

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December 17, 2013 | 2:18pm EST

Legendary nature broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Bristol, England.
The British wildlife expert, 87, was presented with the special accolade during a ceremony at City Hall on Tuesday in recognition of his longrunning career, much of which has been spent working on critically-acclaimed series like Life on Earth and The Living Planet at the BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol.
Paying tribute to Attenborough, Lord Mayor Faruk Choudhary said, “His contribution to broadcasting and wildlife filmmaking has brought him international recognition.
“He has been called ‘the great communicator’, the ‘peerless educator’, and ‘the greatest broadcaster of our time’. His programs are often cited as an example of what public service broadcasting should be, even by critics of the BBC, and have influenced a generation of wildlife filmmakers.”
Accepting the honor, Attenborough said, “I thank you from the bottom of my heart”, adding, “The BBC’s natural history unit is known worldwide and Bristol is the name which is on everyone’s lips.”
Those feted with the status of honorary freeman are considered to be “persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services” to the local area.
Other celebrities who have received similar accolades for the City of London include Sir Bob Geldof, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Michael Caine.