14th September 2011

Graeme le Saux champions Gerald Durrell

Jersey-born footballer Graeme le Saux, once the most expensive defender playing for any English club, championed conservationist Gerald Durrell on the BBC’s Great Lives programme. Why? Because, said le Saux, “Gerald Durrell has always had a huge influence on life in the island… but also sowed a seed in my environmental values, which have stayed with me and I’ve passed on to my own children”.

Le Saux explained on the programme that growing up in Jersey meant his chances of becoming a professional footballer had been very narrow, and he’d been encouraged to consider other options, including his careers advisor’s recommendation that he become a bank manager.

Childhood memories

As well as visiting the zoo, he worked there as a teenager, but while the two met, le Saux said that he was not fortunate enough to get to know Durrell. He had been around 10 years old at the time and been to a tea party held outside the house in whose grounds the wildlife trust was established.

Gerald Durell’s widow, Lee also appeared on the programme and explained that while Gerald had seen long before many others how much danger our environment was in, he lacked confidence in his writing, despite his books being bestsellers many times over.


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