Even as a very young child, Simon King was passionate about the natural world. Expressed in a variety of ways, from keeping faintly rotting animal parts in his underwear drawer (as a 10-year-old), to making several hundred films about wildlife, his enduring interest in all things wild and free has been a way of, rather than a part of his life.
Being savaged by a rabid cheetah, charged at by rhinos and elephants and defecated upon by a long list of birds and other animals may sound like hell to some. But these, along with countless other experiences alongside all things furry, scaly, slimy and feathery have provided him with an enormously rich bank of tales to relive and retell. With his professional life starting aged ten, acting in a television drama called The Fox, (for which he looked after an orphaned fox for two years at home), through projects such as Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Big Cat Diary to name just a few, Simon King has travelled to every continent and lived in extreme conditions from remote desert to Arctic and Antarctic wilderness.
With characteristic honesty and charm, Simon King weaves his animal stories amongst encounters with extraordinary people and astonishing places to give us a memoir that will delight readers.
Simon King was born in Nairobi, but moved to the UK in 1964 and has been working as a natural history film-maker for almost thirty years. Simon has worked on programmes such as Big Cat Diary and Blue Planet and presents Springwatch and Autumnwatch. He is an expert in his field, and has received EMMY, BAFTA and RTS awards for his work.
"His book is packed with wild encounters"
"Whether in front of the camera explaining the mysteries of the natural world [...] or behind it as a skilled operator, King is one of the most engaging of natural history presenters and the prose in his autobiography, Wild Life, is every bit as addictive. [...] This is a heart-warming, engagingly honest read"
"Each year, I read scores of applications from university zoological courses, describing what motivates the students to want to the study the subject. I'm willing to bet that, next year, Wild Life will crop up on their lists of inspirational reading."
– BBC Wildlife Magazine
"Fascinating...Simon's passion is infectious, as anyone who's watched his programmes knows, and his enthusiasm pours from every word in his new book"
– Beautiful Britain