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David Attenborough makes his voice heard in 'First Life,' no matter what

World renowned and much beloved natural scientist Sir David Attenborough has finally figured out a way to thwart Discovery Channel's nasty habit of stripping his narration out of his own documentaries.

Discovery likes to do this in order to re-do the narration using celebrities the company is in bed with -- like Oprah Winfrey, who made his recent 11-part series "Life" sound like a bedtime story -- or with movie stars -- like Sigourney Weaver, who in 2007 tremulously re-did his narration for his 11-part "Planet Earth"

How did Attenborough do this?

He's put himself in almost every scene of his next project, "First Life." Clever Attenborough!

The special uses CGI and fossil findings to imagine what animals that lived on earth hundreds of millions of year ago actually looked like.

"I'm glad to see you've inserted yourself into the film here, because some of your earlier films your voice has been replaced by this network with Oprah and Sigourney Weaver," one critic noted, speaking for many of us attending Summer TV Press Tour 2010.

"As a narrator I am sorry that my narration isn't there," the always exuberant Attenborough responded glibly.

"But as a former network [executive] ... I know you have to allow to allow a bit of give and take." Besides, he added impishly, the versions he narrated and which was seen in other markets around the world, is also available to order in the U.S. on DVD "so people can take which they wish."

Discovery Channel president Clark Bunting, who was also on stage, had nothing to say on the subject.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  August 6, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2010  
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This is not a new ploy for Attenborough. I have seen many of his nature series which feature him endlessly whispering (you know--so as not to disturb the animals. Which is why I am sick to death of hearing him and was positively relieved by the substitutions of Weaver and Winfrey.

Posted by: seller11 | August 6, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

There's always one...

Posted by: tdous | August 7, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Tdous, you're so right. ;-)

Senor Bunting, when will you learn? Just getting into bed with some celebrity doesn't mean it'll turn into dollars down the road.

Posted by: abbott_at_large | August 7, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

As much as I wanted to watch Life I didn't thanks to asinine move to have oprah narrate it over one of the greatest voices of all time.

Posted by: rev_ollie | August 7, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

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