Lord of the animals Sir David Attenborough opens new building

It was like watching Planet Earth but without all the good bits

Sir David Attenborough, legendary naturalist and owner of one of the world’s most amazing voices, was on campus today to officially open the new Life Sciences building.


Sir David striking a pose

Attenborough, a “proud” freeman of Bristol and holder of an honorary degree from the university, told students how the building would propel “the leaders of tomorrow” to face “the difficulties of your generation”.

Sir David, 88, is best known for his natural history documentaries including Planet Earth and Nature’s Great Events, in which awesome scenes of natural beauty are accompanied by his dulcet tones.


It may have been morning but Sir David had a drink ready and waiting

He said: “It gives me great pleasure to open this building. I truly believe [it] will be important in the difficulties that the world will face.”


Reports some watching freshers chanted ‘Down it’ are unconfirmed

The multi-Bafta winner said that there was not “a more important area of knowledge for humanity than life sciences.

“Understanding the natural sciences brings joy and resonance to hearts. We have been naïve. We are in trouble [and] we need to understand what is going on from the problems we have created”

After a small speech, Sir David went on to officially open the building by unveiling an even smaller plaque.


My nan’s got bigger ornaments on her mantelpiece

When the applause died down, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Eric Thomas, man of many titles, added the £60 million building would “transform knowledge for the next century”.


Think how many tuition fees this place must have cost

The building features a ‘living wall’ and a ‘skylounge’ for PhD students, but controversially lacks large lecture theatres, forcing students to attend life sciences lectures in other departments around the campus.

Photos: Frances Anderson