Joanna Lumley, Helen Mirren, David Jason, Stephen Fry: all great people. All undoubtedly official British national treasures. But surely the daddy of them all is Sir David Attenborough.
So it requires a brave, or foolhardy, man to take him on. But that's exactly what Bear Grylls has done, by describing Attenborough's style of presenting as "a bit dry", saying that viewers want to see stunts and adventure instead. Never mind playing with fire, Grylls may well have inflamed a nation.
Coincidentally, Grylls has a new ITV show to promote - Britain's Biggest Adventures - telling the Radio Times: "If it’s just natural history it can be a bit dry. When Attenborough was 25 it was totally not dry because it was totally new, but to do something for young people now, it needs that adventure, I think, to inspire them. I have a sneaking suspicion that these shows are going to do, accidentally, really well. If you look at the success of Attenborough stuff and [BBC series] Coast over the years, and some of the adventure stuff we’ve done, I think this is a really smart, simple, uncomplicated combination of all of those things."
However, before we all make plans to firebomb his house, Grylls was quick to say that he was not criticising Attenborough, describing him as a “personal hero, a legend and a humble, great man”.
Grylls' three-part series is his first move into natural history presenting, exploring Welsh bat lofts, Scottish reindeer herds and English crayfish rearing projects - but also climbing mountains, paramotoring, abseiling and free diving to keep the energy up in case those ADHD kids start to get bored.
Frankly, we don't agree that the youth of today don't 'get' Sir David's presenting style. After all, he's show he can keep up with the lingo of the street, as evidenced by the video below.