The next David Attenborough need not have any natural history qualifications but must be able to make the animal world entertaining for viewers, a senior BBC executive has said.
Dr Wendy Darke, head of the BBC's Natural History Unit, said Sir David Attenborough, 88, would not ultimately be replaced by a similar authoritative figure, boasting an academic grounding in wildlife issues.
In comments likely to raise concerns that the BBC is "dumbing down" its natural history programming, Dr Darke told the Radio Times: "Often people who don't come from a biological degree background ask questions that the audience would ask."
Sir David, who obtained a degree in natural sciences at Cambridge University, believes that programmes are increasingly becoming visual spectaculars geared for international sales.
"I suspect that the age of the presenter is coming to an end. I suspect that [people] want Brazilians or Norwegians, in Norway or Brazil, who will do the talking," he said.