Naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation he formed says.
London-born Bellamy, who became a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist, died on Wednesday, according to the foundation.
His colleague, David Shreeve, described him as a “larger-than-life character” who “inspired a whole generation”.
In later life Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, attracted criticism for dismissing global warming.
In 2004 he described it as “poppycock” – a stance which he later said cost him his TV career.
Bellamy worked as a factory worker and a plumber before embarking on his broadcasting career.
He gained public recognition for his work as an environmental consultant over the Torrey Canyon oil spill, when a tanker was shipwrecked off the coast of Cornwall in 1967.
He went on to present programmes such as Don’t Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.
In 1979 he won Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award.
His distinctive voice also inspireed comedian Sir Lenny Henry’s catchphrase “grapple me grapenuts”.
Well-known figures have paid tribute to Bellamy, including comedy writer and fellow broadcaster Danny Baker, who described him as a “truly brilliant and canny broadcaster”.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”, in a tribute posted on Twitter.
And actor David Morrissey tweeted that Bellamy “cared about nature and our environment deeply.”
Former England footballer Stan Collymore called him a “childhood icon”, adding that he “learnt about botany and shrubs and trees as a kid because of this man’s love and infectious enthusiasm.”
Bellamy’s wife Rosemary, with whom he had five children, died last year.
Police are trying to identify two victims of a suspected arson attack which left one dead and the other fighting for his life.
The men were found badly burnt near a road in Ilford, east London, on Tuesday night after a blaze at a makeshift campsite where they were living.
The man who died suffered almost 100% burns and was discovered near the site. The other made it to the roadside and is in an induced coma in hospital.
Two men have been charged with murder.
The 37-year-old and 51-year-old have both appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court where they were also charged with attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.
Police, fire crews and paramedics attended the blaze at the temporary campsite, which had been constructed on scrubland near the A406.
It is believed the men, both aged in their 40s, were homeless and staying there.
Det Ch Insp Paul Considine called it a “horrific incident which has caused one man to lose his life, and may claim the life of another”.