He was a natural: Terry Nutkins dies at 66
BROADCASTER and naturalist Terry Nutkins has died just months after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
His agent, John Miles, said the star died at his home at Glenelg on the west coast of Scotland, near the Isle of Skye, on Thursday. Mr Miles said: “He had fought for about nine months or so with acute leukaemia.
“He was an absolutely lovely guy and just loved animals. He was never happier than when he was with animals. We will all miss him very, very much.”
Nutkins – described as a natural broadcaster – found fame as co-presenter of the BBC children’s show Animal Magic with Johnny Morris and also featured in The Really Wild Show.
The 66-year-old Londoner is survived by his wife, eight children and eight grandchildren.
He was sent to Scotland at the age of 11 to work with Ring Of Bright Water author Gavin Maxwell and help care for wild otters. It was there that he lost the tips of two fingers after he was bitten by one of his animals.
Maxwell eventually became his legal guardian and Nutkins made the west coast of Scotland his home. He ran a hotel where he was swindled out of thousands of pounds by a fraudster, and bought and tried to restore the historic Fort Augustus Abbey on the shores of Loch Ness.
Tributes flooded in for the star yesterday. TV presenter Phillip Schofield tweeted: “So sad to hear of the death of Terry Nutkins. I worked with him often in my ‘broom cupboard’ days. A delightful man and passionate naturalist.”
Adventurer Ben Fogle said: “Very sad to hear the sad passing of Terry Nutkins. He was one of my childhood inspirations.”
Director of children’s programmes at the BBC, Joe Godwin, said: “Terry Nutkins was a natural children’s presenter – warm, passionate and devoted to communicating the wonders of the natural world to his young audience.
“Like many, I grew up watching him on the BBC’s first-ever natural history programme made especially for children – Animal Magic. I’m sure his enthusiasm and genuine love of animals will have inspired generations of children throughout the country.”
In previous interviews, Nutkins revealed he found Sir David Attenborough’s voice “boring” and said Bill Oddie was “not an all-rounder, bless him, but he does try”.
He said: “I don’t blow my own trumpet, but I do know what I’m talking about.
“I am passionate about it and I feel very strongly about our planet and what is happening to it. Time is passing us by and we’ve turned a blind eye to it too many times.
“I’ve always been the sort of guy to try something.
Now I’m just pure Terry Nutkins: no more businesses, no more partners, just pure me, doing what I do best and doing what I love – being in the countryside and showing the audience that we are in a desperate situation in this world and that we can do something about it.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
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Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
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