UK botanist and broadcaster David Bellamy, best known for a string of factual shows including Don’t Ask Me, has died, aged 86.
“Sadly, I have to report that David Bellamy died this morning. David and I worked together on a variety of projects in various places since launching the Conservation Foundation in 1982,” said David Shreeve, director of the Conservation Foundation.
“He was a larger-than-life character who became a very special friend and teacher. He inspired a whole generation with his wide range of interests and enthusiasm, which knew no bounds. The Conservation Foundation was very special to him and so today is very sad for all of us.”
Bellamy’s scientific career began when he got a job in the biology department of a technical college in Surrey, but it was on a trip to Scotland where he discovered his love for plants.
“I got really turned on by plants and I found out that if somebody told me what a plant was, I just couldn’t forget it,” he said.
He presented programmes including Don’t Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.
In later life he attracted criticism for dismissing global warming.
In 2004 he described it as “poppycock” – a stance which he later said cost him his TV career.