Sir David Attenborough issues BBC licence fee warning

The much-loved naturalist says the scale and ambition of programmes he makes could be compromised

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Sir David Attenborough has warned that reducing the BBC licence fee would weaken its ability to make the ground-breaking nature shows he is famous for.

The TV naturalist has spent four years making his new Life Story series.

Speaking at an event in Bristol, where the BBC's Natural History Unit is based, he said: "We may be seeing a particular peak because to do this takes a lot of time - this was four years - a lot of concentration by a lot of talented people and that means a big investment.

"The BBC can do that because it has the security of the licence fee. And in the end it pretty well gets its money back because these go everywhere.

"If it were to be the case that the BBC didn't necessarily lose the licence fee but had a reduced licence fee that strength would be weakened and people would make easier programmes which don't require so much investment, so much endeavour and so much ambition. That's the danger."