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'He has inspired millions': adult education honour for Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough has become the first winner of an Outstanding Contribution to Adult Learning Award from adult education body Niace.

The broadcaster and naturalist, who adds the award to a long list of honours including the Order of Merit and the Royal Victorian Order, was chosen for more than 50 years' work explaining the natural world to generations of Britons.

Niace chief executive Alan Tuckett said: "It would be hard to identify any single British educator who has contributed more to lifelong learning than Sir David Attenborough.

"As presenter of a number of breathtaking series of natural history programmes on the BBC - from Life on Earth to The Blue Planet, from The Living Planet to The Frozen Planet - he has demonstrated just how powerful a teaching and learning tool television can be.

"His combination of expertise, enthusiasm, clarity of explanation and informality makes him unparalleled as a public communicator and has inspired millions to learn more about the world around them."

Sir David collected the award from business secretary Vince Cable at a ceremony in Westminster on Monday, as part of the celebrations for the 20th Adult Learners' Week.

He said: "It is great to know that these programmes, which are aimed at viewers of all ages, are considered of value by Niace. It is also an honour to consider that they inspire adults to improve their lives through learning and to discover more about the world we all live in."

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