11/12/2019 18:59 GMT | Updated 11/12/2019 19:31 GMT

David Bellamy, Naturalist And Broadcaster, Dies Aged 86

Just in.

PA Archive/PA Images

Naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation has said.

Bellamy died on Wednesday, according to the foundation, of which he was president and co-founder. 

London-born Bellamy was a household name as TV personality, scientist and conservationist.

In a statement, David Shreeve, director of the Conservation Foundation, said: “Sadly, I have to report that David Bellamy died this morning. David and I worked together on a variety of projects in a various places since launching The Conservation Foundation in 1982.

“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.” 

In 2004 he described climate change as “poppycock” and later said the stance cost him his TV career.

Speaking to the Independent in 2013, he said: “All of the work dried up after that. I was due to start another series with the BBC but that didn’t go anywhere, and the other side (ITV) didn’t want to know. I was shunned. They didn’t want to hear the other side.”

Asked by the paper if he stood by his statement, Bellamy said: “Absolutely.

“It is not happening at all, but if you get the idea that people’s children will die because of CO2 they fall for it.”

Comedy writer and radio presenter Danny Baker has paid tribute to Bellamy, calling him a “truly brilliant and canny broadcaster”.

Referencing Lenny Henry’s “grapple me grapenuts” catchphrase that Bellamy inspired, Baker added: “Thoughts with @LennyHenry at this time.”