close up of david attenborough in blue suit

94-year-old naturalist Sir David Attenborough (UK) has debuted on Instagram and claimed the record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Instagram.

Sir David's first post, an IGTV video about global warming concerns, was posted at 2am PDT and his account reached one million followers just over four hours later at 6:44 PDT – with the video gaining more than two million views.

screenshot of david attenborough Instagram account

"Social media isn’t David’s usual habitat so while he’s recorded messages solely for Instagram, like the one in this post, we're helping to run this account," explained account runners Collin Butfield and Johnnie Hughes. 

Collin and Johnnie worked with Sir David on A Life On Our Planet, an upcoming Netflix documentary. 

"I've been appearing on radio and television for the past 60 years," says Sir David in the post, "but this is my first time on Instagram." 

"As we all know, the world is in trouble," warns Sir David in the video. 

"Continents are on fire. Glaciers are melting. Coral reefs are dying. Fish are disappearing from our oceans. The list goes on." 

The previous record holder for this title was Friends star Jennifer Aniston, who joined the social media app on October 15 2019 and gained 1 million followers in five hours and 16 minutes. 

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Footballer David Beckham, Pope Francis and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have all also been a record holder in this category. 

Sir David Attenborough also holds the record for longest career as a TV presenter and longest career as a television naturalist, with a career spanning more than six decades back to the formative years of television.   

His on-screen debut was on Animal Disguises (UK) on BBC Children's Television on 2 September 1953.

Incredibly, he's still on our screens today more than 67 years later, with his latest show Extinction: The Facts currently airing on the BBC. 

The Lion’s Share is a conservation charity partner of Guinness World Records and was featured in Guinness World Records 2021 with an exclusive paragraph from Sir David, who is a special ambassador for the charity.

Read more about The Lion's Share and David Attenborough in Guinness World Records 2021, out now