HE’S the face of natural history television programmes and considered a national treasure.
Now hundreds of Sir David Attenborough fans got the chance to meet their hero when he visited The Hayling Island Bookshop to sign copies of his new book Drawn From Paradise.
Queues stretched outside the shop, in Mengham Road, Hayling Island, and snaked around the block as people waited eagerly to see the broadcasting legend in the flesh.
Mr Attenborough, 86, was joined by his co-author Errol Fuller as they greeted and chatted with locals.
Tickets for the signing, which were snapped up by around 500 people, cost £30 and included the price of the new book. It talks about the history of birds of paradise.
Kevin Drain, 60, braved the cold with his wife Pamela, 60.
Mr Drain, who lives in Portchester, said: ‘Mr Attenborough is an ambassador for this country.
‘He has travelled the world and is very good at what he does. He’s done a lot for nature.’
Anna Rabone and her boyfriend Christian Staunton, who live in Southbourne, went because they are a huge fan of the television star’s work.
Anna said: ‘It’s incredible that we got to meet him.
‘I can’t wait to read the book. He’s a legend and the reason we are so passionate about natural history.
‘We watched his programmes growing up.’
Josh Musefield queued with his grandad Colin Olford, 71.
The 14-year-old, of Cowplain, said: ‘I have been following Mr Attenborough’s work all my life.’
Marie Telford, who runs The Hayling Island Bookshop with her husband Colin, said: ‘It was an absolute privilege to have Mr Attenborough here.
‘I’m delighted he could spare the time out of his busy schedule and come to our small shop.
‘Everyone on the island has been extremely excited about him coming and are pleased that he is here. I’m overwhelmed by the turnout.
‘Mr Attenborough in my eyes is a national treasure.
‘Everyone grew up with him in their living rooms. It’s like he is part of people’s families.’