Sir David Attenborough is taking longer to write the script for his upcoming series because he struggles to recall 'proper names', he has disclosed.
As he continues to travel the globe at 90 years old for Blue Planet II, the naturalist admitted he is "coming to terms" with the fact that when it takes longer to find the right words, you can "run into problems".
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph 24 hours after a trip to the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, he added: "There were these searing yellow fields and I can’t think of the damn name. I wanted to say something about it but I couldn’t and it wasn’t until we got quite close to Geneva that I thought, of course, oil seed rape."
Sir David also admits that at nearly 91, he does not use the internet or emails, despite working with some of the most pioneering technology in the world to make his documentaries.
In an admission that will no doubt be reassuring for pensioners across Britain, he said: "I’m not a big fan of electronic communication. When it comes to making television programmes, I like to think that I know what the latest gear is and what tomorrow’s latest gear is, but maybe I'm deceiving myself."
In last year’s celebrated Planet Earth II series, he appeared on screen only twice, once on a hot air balloon over the Alps at the beginning, and once from the top of London’s Shard. Showing no signs of slowing down, in Blue Planet II, he will make the same number of appearances, from Florida and Dominica.
Speaking of one spectacle to be shared with viewers, he added: "I’ve just come back from Florida where we have been filming spinner sharks. There are 20,000 of them and people don’t even know they’re there. From a helicopter you can see this great column of fish and sharks, and just over there, there are people exercising their dogs on the beach."
Despite his age, he remains as dedicated to conserving the planet as ever, adding: "Everyone must do what they can because it’s the most valuable thing we have got, whether your 60 years old or 106."
After more than 60 years of unveiling the world’s wonders to the British public, Sir David has witnessed a vast change in the state of the world.
While wildlife programming was once about showing off the simple beauty of nature, now he is criticised for not showing the full extent of the crisis facing many species and habitats today.
"Fifty years ago we thought the natural world was invulnerable so never mentioned any problems. The criticism today is you are showing a false impression of the world, you never show any disaster, illnesses, you don’t show poaching; you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
"If we only showed the Garden of Eden aspect of the natural world and never any of humanity’s effect on it then we would be culpable, but we do."
Sir David, a former director of programming at the BBC, added that the corporation has a duty to make brave documentaries that challenge public perceptions.
"The moment you say that you’re only going to do the things that people like then you’re in trouble."
However, speaking at the Sir David Attenborough Building at an event dedicated to conservation's successes yesterday, he highlighted how important positive stories can be.
Likening conservation to voting, Sir David said: "If you think that there is nothing you can do about an impending disaster then you won’t do anything. If you talk to a psychologist, I think you will find that if you continually bombard people with news of disaster then they will actually freeze and say ‘there’s nothing I can do’."
Professor Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist and psychologist who spoke before Sir David at the Earth Optimism event yesterday agreed.
"A number of species have been brought back from the brink of extinction. More land has been set aside for conservation. It’s important to highlight the improvements that have been made because if you sincerely believe that we are doomed, that the world is heading for a horrific apocalypse unless we immediately take steps that we have no probability of taking, then the rational response is 'let’s not even bother'."
Speaking to an audience including Princess Michael of Kent yesterday, Sir David told the story of a bridge in Borneo that was abandoned after conservationists warned it would be the final death knell for an already decimated area of rainforest.
His closing address followed stories of the black robin and Mauritius kestrel, bought back from the brink of extinction when there was just one known breeding female left.
In his final words at Earth Optimism, he added: "I'm optimistic because of children. I see a lot of children, children write to me, and it is my impression that over the last 60 years, they have become aware, and it is their belief that the natural world is their inheritance."