David Bellamy, the former BBC broadcaster and naturalist, died on Wednesday. He was 86.
Bellamy was a household name in the U.K., having authored dozens of watercolor books and appeared on hundreds of TV programs about the environment, particularly in the 1980s and ’90s.
He was frequently parodied by comedian Lenny Henry, and inspired Henry’s “grapple me grapenuts” catchphrase.
Bellamy’s TV programs included “Bellamy on Botany,” “Bellamy’s Britain,” “Bellamy’s Europe” and “Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.”
Bellamy on Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari. He was regularly parodied by impersonators such as Lenny Henry on Tiswas with a “gwapple me gwapenuts” catchphrase. His distinctive voice was used in advertising.
The Conversation Foundation, of which Bellamy was president and co-founder, announced his death.
“He was a larger-than-life character who became a very special friend and teacher,” said David Shreeve, director of the Foundation. “He inspired a whole generation with his wide range of interests and enthusiasm which knew no bounds.”
Bellamy’s BBC career was cut short at the turn of the century. He blamed the end of his TV run on his views of climate change, which he called “poppycock.”
“All of the work dried up after that,” he told The Sun at the time. “I was due to start another series with the BBC but that didn’t go anywhere, and the other side [ITV] didn’t want to know. I was shunned. They didn’t want to hear the other side.”