Shay receives careers advice from TV great

Shay Eagers with his letter from David Attenborough. INLM35-116gc
Shay Eagers with his letter from David Attenborough. INLM35-116gc

A Lurgan schoolboy has received tips on how to become a TV wildlife expert like David Attenborough from none other than Sir David himself.

Shay Eagers, a 10-year-old from Melrose Park in the town, received a handwritten letter from TV’s best known naturalist after contacting him for careers advice.

Shay, who starts his final year at Tannaghmore Primary School next week, said: “We were watching one of David Attenborough’s TV shows about reptiles and I said, ‘If I wanted to have a job like David Attenborough what would I need to do?’ My mum said I should write to him and ask him.”

The Eagers family lived up to their surname and without delay Shay’s mother found an address for Sir David Attenborough through a fan website and Shay contacted the great man to ask him for advice.

Shay and his family were astounded when the schoolboy received a hand-written response from the 87-year-old, detailing what he’d studied before ending up as TV’s leading naturalist.

Shay said: “I wasn’t expecting David Attenborough himself to write back. I thought it would be one of the people who answer his fan mail.”

Shay, whose favourite animals are snakes, asked Sir David what his favourite animal was.

“He told me he didn’t have a favourite animal because there were too many to choose from, “ said the 10-year-old.

Shay and his younger brother Ruairi (7) enjoy nothing more than to sit down in front of the TV and watch a wildlife programme with their mum Maureen and dad Terry.

Inspired by the letter he received, Shay said he’s going to stick to Sir David’s advice and hopefully follow in his footsteps.

Speculation about Sir David’s retirement after having a pacemaker fitted has proved premature when it was confirmed he’s lined up to present another BBC series on the scale of Planet Earth. In the meantime he’ll present a smaller-scale series about evolution later this year.