David Bellamy

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PA Media

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Conservationist David Bellamy died on Wednesday, the foundation he formed said

Naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation he formed says.

London-born Bellamy, who became a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist, died on Wednesday, according to the foundation.

His colleague, David Shreeve, described him as a “larger-than-life character” who “inspired a whole generation”.

In later life Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, attracted criticism for dismissing global warming.

In 2004 he described it as “poppycock” – a stance which he later said cost him his TV career.

Bellamy worked as a factory worker and a plumber before embarking on his broadcasting career.

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Reuters

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Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”

He gained public recognition for his work as an environmental consultant over the Torrey Canyon oil spill, when a tanker was shipwrecked off the coast of Cornwall in 1967.

He went on to present programmes such as Don’t Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.

His distinctive voice would later inspire comedian Sir Lenny Henry’s catchphrase “grapple me grapenuts”.

Comedy writer and fellow broadcaster Danny Baker called him a “truly brilliant and canny broadcaster”.

And Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”, in a tribute posted on Twitter.

Bellamy leaves his wife Rosemary, with whom he had five children.

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