TV pioneer Lord Buxton dies aged 91

September 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

An early television pioneer best known for creating the iconic ITV wildlife series Survival has died.

Lord Buxton of Alsa was 91.

In 1958, when commercial television in the UK was in its infancy, he became Director of Anglia Television, where he spent most of his working life.

“From the beginning Buxton determined that the (Survival) programmes would have popular appeal,” The Times observed in its obituary of him.

“Observing that BBC nature programmes were ‘lecture films for biologists,’ he said he saw no point in doing the same thing.

“He said he tried to make the films as gripping and entertaining as possible. ‘We went for the best showbiz qualities we could, but without compromising the science,’ he said.”

Three years later he co-founded the World Wildlife Fund and he went on to work with the Natural History Museum, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and London Zoo, encouraging others to share his love of nature.

Aubrey Leland Oakes Buxton was born in Oxford in 1918. A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1944.

Two decades later he was appointed Extra Equerry to Prince Philip and in he became 1972 High Sheriff of Essex. He became Deputy Lieutenant of Essex in 1975.

He was raised to the peerage as Baron Buxton of Alsa, of Stiffkey in the County of Norfolk 1978 at the request of Margaret Thatcher and was a trenchant supporter of the British action in retaking the Falkland Islands in 1982 after they were occupied by Argentina.

Lord Buxton had been on leave of absence from the Lords since 2005.

photo: WWF


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