- Date: 12/12/19
- Press Association
Bellamy has died at the age of 86.
Broadcaster and botanist David Bellamy has died at the age of 86 (David Cheskin/PA)
David Bellamy was a prolific broadcaster and respected authority on botany and the natural world when, he says, his views on climate change led to him being banished from television.
Flying in the face of prevailing orthodoxy, he dismissed global warming as “poppycock” and said there is “no actual proof” human activity was causing a rise in temperatures.
Bellamy, who died on Wednesday at the age of 86, blamed his views on climate change for the downfall of his TV career and said he became a pariah.
David Bellamy, the naturalist and broadcaster, has died at the age of 86 (Newscast/PA)
David James Bellamy was born in London in 1933 and was raised in Sutton.
He worked in a factory and as a plumber before meeting his future wife Rosemary. The couple had five children. Bellamy studied and later taught botany at Durham University.
The Torrey Canyon sea drama propelled David Bellamy to greater fame (PA)
He achieved wider recognition following his work on the Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967.
TV work offers followed, launching his small screen career.
Thanks to his distinctive voice and screen presence, Bellamy quickly became a popular presenter on programmes such as Don’t Ask Me.
Wildlife presenter David Bellamy was once a respected and sought-after authority on environmental issues (Michael Stephens/PA)
He also fronted his own shows, including Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.
In 1979 he won Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award.
Bellamy proved an easy target for TV impersonators and was regularly parodied by impressionists, including Sir Lenny Henry.
He famously inspired Sir Lenny’s “grapple me grapenuts” catchphrase.
David Tripper, Minister for the Environment and the Countryside, Sir David Attenborough and Professor David Bellamy at the launch of the 11 million pound nature reserve of 2,500 acres on the River Tees estuary (PA)