Sir David Attenborough reveals his biggest career regret

The beloved broadcaster opens up in a new interview with Louis Theroux.

Sir David Attenborough has revealed his biggest regret in a new interview.

The beloved broadcaster and naturalist, who was named one of the 100 Greatest Britons in a 2002 poll, and has now enjoyed a career that stretches out over 65 years, opened up in a head to head with Louis Theroux.

“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,” the Planet Earth narrator told Theroux in a Radio Times feature. “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.”

“There used to be family jokes,” Attenborough added. “You know, ‘You were never there. You don’t remember that, Father, do you, because you weren’t there!’”

Attenborough has two children, a teacher called Susan and a university lecturer called Robert. His wife of 50 years, Jane, died after suffering a brain haemorrhage in 1997. “I did cope by working, and again it was just the most fantastic luck that I was able to,” he said of his wife’s passing in a 2009 Daily Mail interview. “If my life had gone in a different way – say I had gone into the oil business, which I once considered doing – I would have been out at 60.”