Doncaster youngster 'over the moon' as hero Sir David Attenborough replies to his lockdown letter

A Doncaster youngster was ‘over the moon’ – when his hero Sir David Attenborough sent him a hand written reply to a letter written in lockdown to improve his literacy.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 10:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 11:15 am

Craig Lindley-Sayles, 10, penned the note to the much-loved broadcaster, TV presenter and naturalist – and was amazed when Sir David wrote back.

The 93-year-old host wrote: “Thank you for your letter. I’m delighted that you enjoy my programmes.

“I wish you every success in your palaeontological ambitions.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sir David's hand written reply to Craig.

Craig, known as CJ, who lives in Wilberforce Road, Clay Lane with mum Sarah and dad Craig Snr was tasked with writing a letter to keep him busy during the coronavirus lockdown.

Said Sarah: “We came up with the idea while home learning English.

“We never thought we'd get a reply.

“He's over the moon, as are we - very very proud parents, proud teachers and proud wider family. Home schooling isn't all that bad!

An extract from Craig's letter to Sir David.

“He is a massive Attenborough fan and wants to become a palaeontologist one day. This has always been his dream. He's not like any other 10 year old boy you'll meet.”

Craig, whose letter is printed in full below, wrote to the Blue Planet presenter telling him how much he loved his programmes, dinosaurs – and how he dreams of following in Sir David’s footsteps, describing the presenter as “a massive inspiration.”

Grandma Helen Lindley said: “I am so proud of Craig. He chose his hero Sir David Attenborough and wrote him a lovely letter.

“When he got a hand written reply his face was a picture.”

Craig was 'over the moon' when the TV presenter penned a note back.

Here’s Craig’s letter in full

Dear Sir David Attenborough,

I am Craig, I am 10 years old and currently staying home due to the coronavirus. My mother is trying her best to home school me and my younger sister. I'm taking this opportunity to practice my literacy by writing this letter to you.

First of all I do hope you are well. Since I have remembered I have been watching your TV programmes, I find them highly interesting. Especially the episode on BBC earth on ringtailed lemurs. They are my favourite!!

Craig was over the moon after getting a letter from Sir David Attenborough. (Photo: Getty).

I'm also tremendously fascinated in dinosaurs. I've been reading about them since I was 3 years old!! My favourite dinosaur has to be the mighty velociraptor. My favourite fact about any dinosaur is that a Baryonyxs thumb claw is a whopping 31cm!!!

For my fifth birthday my parents and grandparents took me to the Natural History Museum in London. It was the best day of my life!

At the moment we have blue tits nesting in our garden bird box that my dad made at work. This will be our second year of having them. They fascinate me, they take lumps of my dogs hair into the box for insulation. My dog is a Husky cross Akita so she is very fluffy, she's just turned 14!

When I leave college I'd like to go to university to study Paleontology. My parents looked into extra educational courses but unfortunately I have to be 14 to do this. That won't stop me learning more though I find them so interesting.

I want to succeed like you, having more than 10 animals and plants named after you, plus a research vessel, being the only person to receive BAFTAS in black and white, colour, HD and 3D, my gosh. You are a massive inspiration.

I do hope this reaches you before May 8th. Happy 94th Birthday,



Sir David is widely considered a national treasure in the UK - although he himself does not like the term – after decades presenting programmes on natural history, animals and the environment.

In 2002, he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide poll for the BBC and is set to celebrate his 94th birthday next month.