SIR DAVID Attenborough built his global reputation on defending the environment. But the world's most famous naturalist has also put a surprising amount of energy into defending another lesser-known cause - Canberra.
Sir David has often visited the national capital for work and also to visit his son Dr Robert Attenborough, a senior lecturer in bioanthropology, at the Australian National University.
''I'm a great defender of Canberra, mostly against other Australians. You would know better than me what other Australians in other states say about Canberra, but as far as I'm concerned I think it's a great place, it's got marvellous facilities. I like your nature strips! I think they're terrific,'' Sir David said.
Having filmed previously at Tidbinbilla, Sir David said he always got back to Canberra as often as possible.
According to son Robert, his family's links to the capital were more or less accidental.
''I needed a job, one was advertised here, I applied, I was offered it - I accepted!''
So does the great naturalist support his son's choice of adopted home? ''Yes, I think it's an absolutely fabulous place to live.'' SCOTT HANNAFORD