'Boaty McBoatface' no more: Research ship to be named after David Attenborough

The ship's remotely-operated submersible vehicle will be christened Boaty McBoatface after the name won a public vote

The UK's new polar research ship will be named after the world-renowned naturalist David Attenborough, despite Boaty McBoatface winning a public poll.

However, the public verdict isn't being totally ignored. The ship's remotely-operated submersible vehicle will be named Boaty McBoatface instead.

The naming decision comes just days before Attenborough's 90th birthday, in what the government says is recognition of his life's work.

Sir David said: "I am truly honoured by this naming decision and hope that everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship’s progress as it explores our polar regions.

"I have been privileged to explore the world’s deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

Although there were more than 124,000 votes for the Boaty McBoatface name, David Attenborough was also a popular choice with 11,000 votes.

The UK's science minister Jo Johnson said it was fitting that the ship be named after one of the country's "most cherished broadcasters and natural scientists".

"This vessel will carry the Attenborough name for decades to come, as it fulfils its mission to explore the oceans and put Britain at the forefront of efforts to preserve our precious marine environment," she said.

The £200 million (around €250m) ship is being built in the UK on Merseyside and is due to be launched in 2019.

It will be able to spend up to 60 days in sea-ice at a time, which will allow scientists to gather more extensive data.