Ask Sir David Attenborough: Should I become a violent, masked vigilante?

Sir David Attenborough, Britain’s best-loved broadcaster, answers your queries

Dear Sir David,

I’ve always loved your shows, especially the bits where through careful editing and narration you grow to love a violent animal, and root for it to maul a zebra to death to feed its bloodthirsty young.

I’ve always yearned to be such an animal and with all the crime of late – shoplifting, misgendering, online fraud – I feel I could contribute to society by dressing as a leopard and taking criminals down as a masked vigilante.

Acting where the wheels of justice turn too slow, I’d disguise my face and assume a secret identity as a geography teacher, coincidentally my current job. I’d be a predator on the creatures of the night in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? For context, I don’t have a car or much capital, so for now I’d just cycle around on my pedal bike with a lead pipe or a claw hammer.


Roy Hobbs

Dear Roy,

Let me thank you for your letter and reassure you that you’re not alone in feeling this urge. Indeed, when faced with man-made ecological tragedy, I myself have often considered turning to vigilantism far beyond the antics of those, and forgive me for using this term, pussies Extinction Rebellion.

Were I to indulge these fantasies, I’d go by the moniker Killer Whale (based on the common name for Orcinus orca). The law so rarely punishes those ne’er-do-wells ruining our planet for future generations. I would drop them in the Sahara deset and leave them to die.

Greta Thunberg could be my sidekick, called the Poison Dart Frog and wearing an appropriate costume to slip Polonium-210 into the coffee cups of oil magnates – but forgive an old man, I’m getting carried away.

To you. I would recommend finding a tighter focus for your vigilantism. Crime, as much as an excited man with a hammer and his aunt’s mispurposed leopard-skin clothing might like, does not lurk around every corner in Leicestershire. And real leopards spend all day sleeping in trees.

Why not concentrate on littering? It’s a crime everyone abhors, you could stab the litter with a sharp spike thereby allieviating your evident anger issues, and you’re ideally placed to come across evidence of other crimes like theft, underage drinking, human trafficking and the enriching of uranium by rogue states.

Leave the claw hammer at home. Dress as whatever animal you like. I am 97 and will not see the results of your work but I trust it will usher in a juster world.

With all best wishes,

Sir David Attenborough

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Mash Blind Date: can former prime minister Boris Johnson find true love with GB News?

HE’S the last prime minister but one. They’re a news channel that cherishes free speech and impartially loves Tories. Will they fall for each other? 

GB News on Boris

First impression?

A blond Adonis, witty, knowledgable, tossing out classical references faster than even an Oxford don could catch them, charming, incisive and brilliant. What did we do? Why did we allow the Blob to bring him down?

How was conversation? 

Sparkling. From the first moment you find yourself in receipt of his full attention, you’d do anything to keep it. When he momentarily flirted with the waitress I was so hurt I called her a whore of liberalism and wokeness’s bitch, but he smoothed things over wonderfully.

Memorable moments?

Every single one, arranged like beads of joy on a necklace of pure truth.

Favourite thing about Boris? 

The whole wonderful golden package. That we could even be within touching distance of a relationship is a dream.

A capsule description? 

The prime minister of hearts. The once and future king. His sword sleeps in his hand but he is destined to rule us again.

Was there a spark? 

God yes. Our passion blazed like a forest fire caused by a malfunctioning wind turbine.

What happened afterwards? 

We agreed a contract to produce documentaries and live events. The details are sketchy and the fee large, but I know he won’t let us down. He told me himself.

What would you change about the evening? 

Only that it ended. But it will echo forever in the corridors of eternity.

Will you see each other again?  

Of course. We have a contract. He’s earning millions.

Boris on GB News

First impression?

I thought this was Rupert’s one that pays Piers all that money? Oh bloody hell, this isn’t the one with Jacob and Nige on, is it?

How was conversation? 

Disappointing. Really I should be hosting my own nightly show on the BBC kicking the shit out of anyone who ever crossed me, but I can’t because of Ofcom bias. So I’m reduced to this.

Memorable moments?

I asked what the entire salaries, combined, of everyone who works for them – from Eamonn Holmes to the lowliest runner – was. Then I told them I’ll need three times that. It was agreed without hesitation.

Favourite thing about GB News? 

That they’ll pay me huge sums for stuff nobody will ever find out about, apart from those few who watch it. It’s the relationship I have with many women, but in reverse.

A capsule description? 

They’ll do. For now.

Was there a spark? 

Of course there was from them. I’m Boris.

What happened afterwards? 

Went home, told the kids to shut it, irritably gave Carrie one, stayed up and finished the Chablis.

What would you change about the evening? 

Come on. At least Talk TV.

Will you see each other again?  

No, I shouldn’t think so. I know what I’m like. Once I’ve trousered the cash I’ll lose interest.