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11 December 2019 22:36

David Bellamy David Bellamy Lenny Henry

Environmentalist and former TV presenter David Bellamy has died at the age of 86, prompting tributes to a 'larger-than-life character' who 'inspired a whole generation' and 'cared deeply about our environment'. The former broadcaster was a household name, appearing in programmes such as Don't Ask Me and Bellamy on Botany, and travelling to the North Pole for an ITV series called On Top Of The World. His distinctive voice was a frequent target of impersonators, and Sir Lenny Henry's catchphrase 'grapple me grapenuts' was inspired by Bellamy. Later in life, he attracted criticism after labelling climate change as 'poppycock' and complained that he had been 'shunned' as a result. Tributes: Naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy (pictured at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013) has died at the age of 86, prompting tributes to a 'larger-than-life character' Younger man: David Bellamy as a 25-year-old in 1959, the year he married his wife Rosemary (pictured right).

At home with the family: David Bellamy in 1991 with his wife Rosemary, cradling his new grandson Theo David Shreeve, the director of the Conservation Foundation, paid tribute today to a 'larger-than-life character who became a very special friend and teacher'. 'Sadly, I have to report that David Bellamy died this morning,' Mr Shreeve said. 'David and I worked together on a variety of projects in a various places since launching The Conservation Foundation in 1982. Former footballer Stan Collymore called him a 'childhood icon', adding: 'Learnt about botany and shrubs and trees as a kid because of this man's love and infectious enthusiasm. At work: David Bellamy, who was once a botany lecturer at Durham University, at the Hampton Court flower show in 2011 Two naturalists: David Bellamy with fellow environmentalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough in 2008 at the launch of a £25million butterfly conservation project Bellamy worked in a factory and as a plumber before marrying his wife Rosemary in 1959.

In 1979 he won Bafta's Richard Dimbleby Award, and three years later announced the launch of the Conservation Foundation in an appearance on Parkinson. Imitation: Bellamy's distinctive voice was a frequent target of impersonators, and Sir Lenny Henry's catchphrase 'grapple me grapenuts' was inspired by him (they are pictured together) Thanks to his distinctive voice and screen presence, Bellamy quickly became a popular presenter on programmes such as Don't Ask Me In 2004 he described climate change as 'poppycock' and later said the stance cost him his TV career. Later he said he had been 'shunned' and his work had 'dried up' after he questioned climate change. '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,' he said. David Bellamy, the naturalist and television broadcaster known for his passion for the natural world, has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation has said. Bellamy was credited with inspiring people to care for nature through his programmes in the 1970s, but in later years became controversial for denying climate change. In a statement, David Shreeve, director of the Conservation Foundation, of which Bellamy was president and co-founder, 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. Levon Biss 10/10 The frame contains the actual piece of amber that features in the photograph Levon Biss 1/10 Ant This ant preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 2/10 Moss twig This moss twig preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 3/10 Fungus gnat This fungus gnat preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 4/10 Spider beetle This spider beetle preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 5/10 Lace bug This lace bug preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 6/10 Park-winged fungus gnat This park-winged fungus gnat preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 7/10 Click beetle This click beetle preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 8/10 Wedge-shaped beetle This wedge shaped beetle preserved in amber dates from 40-45 million years ago and was discovered in the Baltics Levon Biss 9/10 These photos from photographer Levon Biss are for sale in a frame crafted from fossilised Bog Oak that has been preserved underground in peat bogs for 5300 years. In 2004 he described climate change as "poppycock" and later said the stance cost him his television career. Bellamy worked in a factory and as a plumber before meeting his future wife, Rosemary, to whom he remained married all his life. He studied and later taught botany at Durham University before achieving wider recognition following his work on the Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967.