My Celebrity Life

Jack Harries on Sir David Attenborough ‘handing over baton’ on climate change, getting arrested, and why he left vlogging career behind

My Celebrity Life –
Jack Harries featured Sir David Attenborough in his new series (Picture: YouTube/JacksGap)

For many, including YouTuber turned climate activist Jack Harries, Sir David Attenborough has long been a hero – but he’s said to be ‘handing over the baton’ to the younger generation when it comes to climate change.

The 95-year-old joins Jack for his new YouTube series Seat At The Table, with the YouTuber telling ‘He is the ultimate communicator when it comes to the environment.

‘I think he’s made us all fall in love with the environment and, by the same means, help us understand the issues it’s facing. He’s [95] now and getting towards the end of his career – amazingly, he’s still going, he’s making three shows this year – and so, to me, he seems to be handing the baton over to the younger generation and saying, “It’s up to you guys now. You’ve got to fight this fight.

‘It was really important to have him to open the show and set up the issue and to almost hand over that baton. And there’s no one that’s seen more of the natural world than David Attenborough.’

Jack continued: ‘He has transitioned from a naturalist to an activist, someone who’s sounding the alarm, and I don’t think it sits that comfortably with him but he understands the importance of it.’

The now 28-year-old began his career on YouTube 10 years ago as any other 18-year-old at the time might have – making vlogs in his bedroom, often with his twin brother Finn.

He gathered a huge following, with his most popular video hitting 10million views, and now has an audience of more than three million.

However, in 2015, Jack’s videos took a drastic change, as he developed a passionate interest in the environment.

‘I think it was a gradual thing, it came with growing a platform. We never set out with the ambition of growing a platform, I called it “JacksGap” because I thought it would run on my gap year between school and university and it grew and it was amazing – we left university to do it full time and I look back on those years so fondly.

‘But with a large platform comes a sense of responsibility to use it wisely and to talk about issues that matter. That was bubbling for a long time.’

After a trip to Greenland in 2015 with the WWF, Jack recalled: ‘I couldn’t think about anything else. It just hit me that this would become the greatest issue of our time.’

While he’s never seemed a very controversial figure, Jack hit headlines last year when he was arrested during a non-violent protest at International Petroleum Week.

‘I think, for me, it was a very necessary thing,’ he explained. ‘I felt very angry at that time. I felt very overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to process what I was learning and, for me, that was the way I channelled it.

‘I wouldn’t change that, it was what I needed to do to process my own grief and I think everyone deals with the grief – and it is a grief with understanding this issue – in their own way. But it came to a point where I felt, “Could I be using my time better?”‘

Now, Jack is taking action with his new series, Seat At The Table, which shows him on his journey to COP26 in Glasgow.

Along the way, he will speak to people around the world who have been hit hard by the effects of climate change, and show their stories to the leaders at the conference.

‘This is an issue that is affecting people all around the world. It’s an issue of human rights, it’s an issue of social justice,’ he pointed out.

‘But I also want people to take away the fact that there are people around the world taking action. When you humanise this crisis, you see both the people who are on the front lines but you also see the people who are stepping up to the mark and taking action.’

YouTube Originals series A Seat At The Table will premiere on October 25 on Jack’s Gap.


Credit: Original article published here.

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