Sir David Attenborough’s latest nature documentary series, Planet Earth 2, has attracted more viewers aged 16 – 34 than the X Factor.

It appears that more young people are favouring the natural world over reality TV competitions, and realising the importance of conserving and protecting our natural planet. According to BBC statistics, the ‘Mountains’ episode, which aired on 13th November, attracted 1.8 million young viewers in comparison to the X Factor’s 1.4 million.

In an interview on Planet Earth 2 and the future of humanity for the Radio Times, Sir David Attenborough said, “It is our environmental legacy that the younger generation of today will inherit; we need them to become the environmental champions of the future. And that’s why television of this type is so important.

“It’s enabled us to see just how full of wonder those habitats are and underlines why we must protect them.

“Their survival is our survival.”

10 years after the first series was released and following vast improvements in technology, Planet Earth 2 has been able to capture the natural world in extreme close-ups and breathtakingly high-definition that has never been seen before. Sir Attenborough has credited technology advancement for a large part of the programme’s success.

As a result of the documentaries’ popularity amongst young people and in an effort to raise awareness to environmental concerns, Manchester Metropolitan University students from the Biological Sciences Society, hosted their first screening of ‘Attenborough and Chill’ – an event that saw around 40 young people gather together at The Union to watch a live viewing of Planet Earth 2’s ‘Grasslands’ last night.

Students gather to watch David Attenborough's Planet Earth
Members of MMU Biological Science Society at the first ‘Attenborough and Chill’ event.

Cael Jones, Chair of the MMU Biological Sciences Society explained, ‘We wanted a biology themed event that would bring attention to our society and give our members an opportunity to meet and bond with others with a passion for wildlife and planet Earths well-being.’

Meg Speck 20, a second year Wildlife Biology student and social secretary of the society added:

“Many biology students have been inspired by David Attenborough”.

Over 500 people clicked ‘Interested’ on the event’s Facebook page and more people are expected to attend the second event on 11 December, which will be screening ‘Cities’, the final episode of the documentary series.


  1. Thanks to everyone for coming last night.
    Hope to see you all at the next event on Sunday the 11th December.

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