David Bellamy is dead — and if his name doesn’t mean much to you that is largely the fault of the disgusting BBC.
For a decade or so from the ’70s onwards, botanist and environmentalist Bellamy was just about the biggest nature star on British TV, only equalled in celebrity by his fellow David, David Attenborough.
In some respects, Bellamy was the more famous and better-loved character, especially when comedian Lenny Henry spoofed him as a bearded eccentric with the catchphrase “gwapple me gwapenuts”.
(Bellamy was easy to impersonate because he pronounced his ‘r’s as ‘w’s – a condition known as ‘rhotacism’).
Attenborough specialised in wildlife; Bellamy in plants; both were superstars, even back in the 1970s; both were well on their way to becoming national treasures.
But only one of them did. What happened to Bellamy?
Simple. Bellamy was an early victim of what is now known as cancel culture.
As a nature TV star, Bellamy ought to have been untouchable. As well as being personable, funny, happy to parody himself, instantly recognisable and loved by children, he was – unlike Attenborough – a trained scientist with a doctorate in botany. He was also a committed environmentalist, writing a paper for Nature on the Torrey Canyon oil spill and in 1983 was arrested and imprisoned for blockading Australia’s Franklin River in protest against a proposed dam.
This is how many people of a certain generation still remember him. Here, for example, is Walking Dead star David Morrissey paying due tribute.
Sad to hear the news about David Bellamy. A real character and a man who cared about nature and our environment deeply.
— David Morrissey (@davemorrissey64) December 11, 2019
But to anyone born in the ’80s or later, Bellamy will be completely unfamiliar because the BBC — and its rival ITV — abruptly cancelled his career and never had him back.
Because Bellamy was guilty of wrongthink.
Brave, outspoken, and committed to scientific truth, Bellamy refused to play the game on the global warming hoax.
(He made it even harder for himself by campaigning for Britain to leave the EU: he once stood for the Referendum Party, a UKIP prototype, against then-Prime-Minister John Major.)
In 2004 he described climate change as “poppycock” — and that was the end of his career.
As he told the Independent in a 2013 interview:
“All of the work dried up after that. I was due to start another series with the BBC but that didn’t go anywhere, and the other side (ITV) didn’t want to know. I was shunned. They didn’t want to hear the other side.”
Though his climate scepticism killed his media career he remained utterly unrepentant.
He went on to tell the interviewer:
“Someone even emailed me [at the time] to say I was the worst paedophile in the world, basically saying I was killing children by denying global warming,” he continues, “but in the last 30 years crops have got greener and grow quicker.” CO2 acts as a fertiliser, he tells me, “and that is good news but we don’t get.” He can’t resist dragging his namesake into things, saying David Attenborough “was on our side [denying climate change] at first but then he had a change of heart.”
But, I ask, what if you are wrong? “Then I’m wrong. But I’m not.”
Bellamy remained one of very few television celebrities to speak out against the global warming scam.
There have only been about three, in fact. Another of these heroes, Australian poet and broadcaster Clive James — similarly vilified for his scepticism — died last month.
Now the only one still with us is former children’s TV presenter, mathematician, and musician Johnny Ball (whom I interviewed here for my podcast).
As I wrote in the Australian Spectator:
It requires courage to defy the climate alarmist establishment because the penalties for dissent are so great. If you’re a scientist – as we learned from the Climategate emails – it means being bullied and ridiculed by your peers, denied promotion or tenure, shut out of journals or, as in the case of Professor Peter Ridd at James Cook University, sacked on trumped up charges of ‘academic misconduct’. But if you’re a celebrity dependent on the goodwill of the luvvie establishment it can mean the end of your career.
Compare and contrast the blessings and rewards heaped on those prepared to swallow any doubts they may once have had and convert to the green religion. While Bellamy’s career tanked when he expressed doubt about climate change, David Attenborough — a former sceptic, according to Bellamy — became a global icon after he draped himself in the mantle of climate change alarmism.
There’s a lesson in there somewhere — but not, I hope, the one that the Greenies imagine it to be.
Mark 8:36 puts it best:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
David Bellamy never sold his soul.
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