David Attenborough, who created and hosted some of the BBC's most lauded nature documentaries, including Life and Planet Earth , and has spent 50 years with the BBC in various capacities, including director of programming in the early '70s, has sharply criticized the British public broadcaster. It has "strayed from the straight and narrow," he said in an interview with Britain's New Statesman magazine. "The sails need to be trimmed and [it] needs to be refocused," he added. Nevertheless, he expressed concern about the recent decision by the British government to clamp down on the license fee that television-set owners must pay annually to support the BBC. He called the BBC "crucially important in our society and [represents] the highest aspirations of our society. ... If you remove the license fee, [the BBC] would be gone in a decade, finished."