A Letter to The Grauniad
Please note that your article
about three British divers missing "off the coast of Bali", is misleading in that you diminish the importance of the Swedish woman and French man who are also missing.*
Secondly, as the article notes, they're not actually anywhere near the coast of Bali.
"Komodo national park is a popular diving destination, well known for its spectacular coral and fishlife. It is situated more than 200 miles east of the nearest city, Denpasar, the capital of Bali."
That's a bit like saying that three divers are missing off the coast of Cornwall, 200 miles west of London.
Komodo was first made famous for we Brits by David Attenborough
's 'Zoo Quest for a Dragon
', so it's not as if Indonesia's geography is unfamiliar to British readers. And Bali is not a separate country.
Do please amend the story to show the internationalist aspect which most readers of Guardian Online have come to expect. I really don't wish to refer to you by your previous name - The Grauniad.
*Since found alive and seemingly well, having drifted for more than 12 hours before arriving at Rinca island, where they spent the night, about 20 miles south of their dive site.
...............................Zoo Quest for a Dragon established Attenborough as an intuitive performer, so prepossessed by his fascination with the subject at hand and unconcerned for his own dignity in front of the camera that he seemed to sweat integrity.
A sense of daring has always surrounded him with a glamorous aura: even in this early outing, the massive Komodo Dragon, object of the quest through Borneo
), at least looked as ferocious as its name portends, and Attenborough's presence seemed to prove not only the reality and size of his specimens, but a kind of guarantee that we too were part of this far-flung scientific endeavour, the last credible adventure in the period which witnessed the demise of the British Empire.
This was an amazing programme
for pre-teens such as myself growing up in the austerity of post-war London, our heads filled with tales of our parents life in the recent past facing perils with heroism, there were few opportunities for my generation to emulate them. National service had been abolished, for which I was exceedingly glad, but I was a wolf cub
, a junior Boy Scout
, and I learnt about fundraising through Bob-a-Job week
and how to wear a woggle. I also learnt basic camping techniques such as tying reef knots and clove hitches and my shoe laces, skills I still use today.
The Zoo Quest programmes, even in black and white - there wasn't colour TV in 1957*
- offered a Boy's Own adventure ethos, an outlet for our imaginations. It also showed us worlds far beyond our horizons, much as he's continued to do for half a century.Attenborough's combination of charm and amazement has been profoundly influential on a generation of ecologically-aware viewers.*David Attenborough became Controller of BBC2, which was BBC's more 'highbrow' TV channel, and introduced colour to British screens on 1 July 1967.