Sir David Attenborough said he “owed it to the British people” to introduce colour television in 1967 ahead of Germany.
At the time he was the controller of BBC2, and Britain became the first country in Europe to offer “regular programming in colour”.
He said: “Well, it seemed to me I owed it to the British people to do that. The BBC was the first broadcasting organisation in the world, so, when I heard that the Germans were going to introduce colour television, I said, ‘Hang on, we can’t have that’.
“And we got on the air three weeks before them. It was fairly childish, but it made me laugh.”
His latest project, about the Great Barrier Reef will air on 30 December on BBC One.