Why is David Attenborough's eye closing? Fans concerned for presenter's health

Sir David Attenborough can always be relied upon to create some of the most thought-provoking, timely documentaries. His latest venture is no different.

Extinction: The Facts launched to BBC One on Sunday, September 13th. It takes a look at the millions of species at risk of extinction and how this crisis of biodiversity will impact human life.

In David Attenborough’s most successful series Planet Earth and Blue Planet, he only appears in the episodes as a narrator. In contrast, in Extinction: The Facts, David is everywhere on the show as the lead presenter.

With David on our screens, many viewers noticed that his left eye was partially-closed in the episode. So, why was David Attenborough’s eye closing?

Screenshot: David Attenborough in Extinction: The Facts – iPlayer

David Attenborough on Extinction: The Facts

Sir David has been working as a nature broadcast since the 1950s. Although he has always supported and promoted animal conservation, the conversation has dramatically shifted over the past few years from animals to the environment. Now, David is vocal about his concerns on climate change.

Extinction: The Facts invites some of the top scientists in the world to speak on their concerns for the planet’s future. Logging, the meat and dairy industry, deforestation, rising temperatures; they are all contributing to the damage of the world’s ecology and are shrinking the biodiversity.


David Attenborough provides the narration for the series, but he also appears as one of the presenters. In his on-screen moments, viewers noticed that David kept closing his eye.

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Why is David Attenborough’s eye closing?

David Attenborough has never confirmed the exact reason that his eye closes, but there is a chance it could be unilateral ptosis. This is also referred to as “pathologic droopy eyelid.” It can come on as a result of trauma, a medical disorder, or age. It is likely David Attenborough’s is a result of the latter. It is a very common condition for people in their older age.

Some fans were concerned that David had had a stroke and his left eye closing was a result of brain damage. This, however, is unlikely, as David has never addressed whether he’s had a stroke.

At 94-years-old, David Attenborough is still remarkably healthy and active. Travelling the world to do big presenting gigs might take it out of anyone, but David seems relatively unphased by the job at hand.

Watch Extinction: The Facts

If you wanted to watch the five-star documentary from Sir David Attenborough but missed it when it aired on Sunday, September 13th – we have good news!

You can currently watch the programme on the BBC iPlayer. It will be available to stream there until for the next 11 months, meaning it will be pulled from the streaming site in August 2021.




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