Sunday, 29 October 2017

Pre-Attenborough.


                                  Michaela en Armand Denis (1962).jpg                 

I adore David Attenborough, but my love of nature (both above and below the waterline) came long before he arrived on the TV scene.

My introduction to exotic wildlife came from Armand and Michaela Denis (above), their African jungle adventures kept the young Cro totally spellbound for years.

Under water it was Hans and Lotte Hass who introduced us to the strange alien world of aquatic life. Later it was Cousteau and his crew who finally cemented my love of everything sub-aqua.

When I look at the photo above, I see a wonderful couple whose names will be unknown to the majority, but they were pioneers in the field of nature filming. He with his strange guttural Belgian accent, and she with her beauty and elegance; they made it seem perfectly natural to be amongst all those wild animals.

I feel privileged that part of my early education was tutored by these wonderful people, and not by some hand-held toy where you score points for killing imaginary enemies!

The young now know so little of the world around them; bring back Armand and Michaela.



41 comments:

  1. I'd never heard of Armand and Michaela until now. That's a great photo! And of course I love Attenborough and Cousteau.

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    1. You're far too young Jennifer. They are only known to us oldies!

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  2. Don't remember them but I well remember Hans and Lotte. Attenborough of course. The Carl Sagan series was the best of all to my mind.

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    1. I don't know Sagan. The Denis pair were rather like a pleasant couple taken from the street, and replaced in the jungle. There was nothing 'show-biz' about them.

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    2. Amiss of me not to mention Patrick Moore. I think his 'sky at night' was the longest running series on the box. I watched hundreds of them over the years. I wrote him a letter and he sent me a postcard signed personally. Unfortunately I put it 'somewhere safe' and it goes without saying I duly lost it.

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    3. P M was a wonderful person too. I didn't often watch his programmes because I didn't really know what he was talking about. Such things confused me; and still do.

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    4. Cro, try and find some Carl Sagan on U Bend.... there's bound to be some.... his series Cosmos was really ahead of the game. Armand & Michaela, Hans & Lottie.... Attenborough was contemporary with them... his series Zoo Quest aired at the same time. I actually have a Zoo Quest board game from that era.... a bit the worse for wear, but still playable!

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    5. It's my failing memory; I'd imagined that Attenborough came a bit later.

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    6. My brother and I were reminiscing about Zoo Quest last week. I saw my first amardillo.

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    7. I don't know most of the ones you said but Carl Sagan was fabulous.

      cheers, parsnip

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  3. Was Johnny Morris around at the sametime? With the 'extra hour' I must do a lttle digging.

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    1. Johnny Morris, with his Zoo Keeper's hat, was another favourite. I think he must have appeared a short while later.

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    2. If you put 'Johnny Morris' into my little white search strip (top left), you will find my favourite clip of him with a Chimp. Classic.

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    3. I've just had a look at it myself, and it's an Orangutan, not a Chimp.

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  4. We were 'thrilled' by Marlin Perkins and his wild kingdom programme. I can see him now in his safari hat with so-american accent hanging on to the back of a jeep somewhere in Africa.
    Cousteau and Attenborough were absolutely top notch. Attenborough and his steady clear English voice still is.
    Haven't heard of your two

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    1. Perkins is another one I don't know. I don't watch too many wildlife programmes these days. The makers tend to concentrate too much on 'meal times', and I find it quite disturbing.

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  5. I loved them all. Michaela used to make me laugh. She always looked like a fish out of water trekking across bush and deserts and jungles.

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    1. She was always so well dressed and coiffed.

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  6. Your heading should be Attenborough et al.

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  7. I am afraid that I am one of the minority who remembers them .... and, slightly off track but around the same time, the Tonight show with our family favourite Alan Whicker, and Fyfe Robertson { Bill Pertwee did a parodie of him on Beyond Our Ken as ' Rife Hoverton ' !! } Sorry Cro, I've gone off on a tangent ...... you've got me remembering some of the programmes we used to listen to/watch in the 50's !! XXXX

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    1. Dear old Fyfe R. I remember him interviewing some travellers at the Appleby Show. He asked "Is it true that you steal chickens?", and the reply was "Yes sir we do". And do you leave a lot of litter behind you?", and the reply again was "Yes". Poor Fyfe didn't know what to say next!

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  8. Don't recognise these guys but I remember Desmond Morris (zoo time) and of course Johnny Morris.

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    1. Have a look at that clip I mentioned above; it's classic Johnny Morris.

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  9. I don't know of this couple, but I feel I should learn.

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    1. I do know your age Andrew, so I reckon you're about 10 years too young.

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  10. Hans and Lotte Hass turned into comedy at one point. I remember them swimming with sharks, then something scared the huge sharks away. It was a Great White. Hans said, "We decided to get out of the water..."

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    1. I remember Lotte being very attractive, and wearing a very ROUND white mask; very exotic.

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    2. She has the nostrils for underwater swimming.

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  11. Now that someone has mentioned Carl Sagan, I feel obligated to bring up one of our national treasures, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He's one of my heroes!

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    1. I've not previously heard of him, but he sounds like a US version of Patrick Moore; although VERY different.

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    2. I love Neil De Grasse but he is more today.

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  12. Replies
    1. And she looks like one of the royals; The Duchess of Kent maybe?

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  13. Yet again I'm taken down memory lane. What was the name of the bloke who did birdsong impersonations ?

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    1. Percy Edwards. I was about to write Percy Thrower!

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  14. I didn't know about this people. Pioneers indeed.

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    1. They were the sort who'd wear Dinner Jacket, and Ball Gown, to film Elephants. A different age.

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