David Attenborough: ‘Humans are a plague on the earth’

Human beings are a plague eating up precious resources on the earth, renowned wildlife presenter David Attenborough has said.

Speaking to the Radio Times, the much-loved TV personality suggested famines in Ethiopia were the result of there being "too many people".

"We are a plague on the Earth. It's coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so," he said.

"It's not just climate change; it's sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde.

"Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now."

The presenter of the upcoming Natural Curiosities series on the Eden channel then suggested famines in Africa were the result of overpopulation rather than poverty.

"We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that's what's happening. Too many people there," he said.

"They can't support themselves – and it's not an inhuman thing to say. It's the case.

"Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it's going to get worse and worse."

Attenborough is one of the most widely admired figures on TV, appearing regularly to present wildlife programmes in a career spanning decades.