BBC legend Sir David Attenborough has attacked the Beeb for allowing lifestyle shows to run rampant – at the expense of shows like Tomorrow’s World.

“Do we really require so many gardening programmes, makeover programmes or celebrity chefs?” the famed natural history broadcaster asked in a speech about public service broadcasting in London.

“There are times when both BBC One and BBC Two, intoxicated by the sudden popularity of a programme genre, have allowed that genre to proliferate and run rampant through the schedules, with the result that other kinds of programmes are not placed – simply because of lack of space.”

Sir David spoke from a position of some experience: he was controller of BBC Two for four years in the 1960s and director of programmes on both BBC One and Two.

He praised the work of the BBC’s natural history unit, which delivered Life on earth and Blue Planet. “It is a prime example of what public service broadcasting can achieve,” he said.

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