"With the passing of Lord Richard Attenborough, the world has lost not only a great voice, but a great soul.  Lord Attenborough touched the lives of millions of people through his remarkable films, and through his travels and work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he changed the lives of countless children.  We join his many admirers in honouring his life and mourning his loss.”  


Notes to editors:

Producer and director Richard Attenborough (Lord Attenborough of Richmond upon Thames) had a long and distinguished association with UNICEF.

Lord Attenborough became a Goodwill Ambassador on 27 October 1987 and built his familiarity with UNICEF programmes and staff during the filming of Gandhi in India and later Cry Freedom in Zimbabwe. UNICEF benefited directly from special fundraising premieres of both of these films. Premieres of Gandhi, for instance, raised almost US$1 million.

In October and November 1994, Lord Attenborough undertook an extensive mission to Africa. He returned to South Africa in November 1995, after it had ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for which he had campaigned on his earlier visit. In April 2000, he visited Mozambique after it had been devastated by floods and set up a joint appeal by UNICEF and the United Kingdom’s Observer newspaper. He has also visited several UNICEF-supported projects in Thailand.

Lord Attenborough worked tirelessly for UNICEF closer to home, too, supporting many advocacy and fund-raising initiatives and working to bring children’s issues to the forefront of the political and news agenda. For example, in December 1998, he joined UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy to launch The State of the World’s Children report in London, using his unique standing and skills to publicize its aims with the world’s media.

Ill health in recent years curtailed his activities, but he remained a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador until his death.

For further information, please contact the UNICEF UK Media Office, 0207 375 6030 media@unicef.org.uk


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit unicef.org.uk