A packed audience raised the roof when he walked on stage at the Crucible and outside there were cheers from crowds who couldn't get a ticket but gathered to watch a live stream on a big screen.
It was his first visit to the now world renowned festival to discuss his long and celebrated career, and talk about the future of television and media.
Liz McIntyre, Sheffield Doc/Fest CEO & Festival Director, said, “The Festival was honoured to welcome Sir David to Sheffield. He is a giant of the documentary world, whose natural history adventures and films are epic, groundbreaking and a feast for the eyes and mind. Across the broadcasting world his contribution spanning 64 years continues to be extraordinary and an inspiration to new filmmakers around the world ”.
Long established as the world’s leading natural history documentarian and presenter, Sir David’s long and illustrious career has also included the highest-level work off screen, as Controller of BBC2, and Director of Programmes across the BBC.
He has been responsible for commissioning many innovative titles over the years, including the 13 part documentary television series The Ascent of Man.
In 1966 he oversaw the introduction of colour television to Britain and in 1969 he was responsible for clearing the BBC schedule for the moon landing.