Chris Packham

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Chris Packham
Chris Packham 2011.jpg
Packham in 2011
Born Christopher Gary Packham
(1961-05-04) 4 May 1961 (age 56)
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Residence New Forest, Hampshire
Alma mater University of Southampton
Occupation Nature photographer, television presenter, author
Years active 1986 – Present
Family Jenny Packham (sister)
Awards Dilys Breese Medal
Website www.chrispackham.co.uk

Christopher Gary Packham (born 4 May 1961) is an English naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author, best known for his television work including the CBBC children's nature series The Really Wild Show from 1986 to 1995. He has presented the BBC nature series Springwatch, including Autumnwatch and Winterwatch since 2009.[2]

Early Life[edit]

Packham was born in Southampton, Hampshire.[3] He was educated at Bitterne Park Secondary School,[4] Taunton's College[5] and the University of Southampton, where he received a BSc in Zoology.[6] After graduating he cancelled his study towards a PhD to train as a wildlife cameraman.[7]

Television Career[edit]

Chris Packham with other Springwatch presenters Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games, in 2014

In 1983 Chris Packham was a part-time camera assistant for wildlife filmmaker Stephen Bolwell[8] working with him on A Toad's Tale.

From 1983 - 1985 he worked on The Living Planet series and The Living Isles for the BBC and Ourselves and Other Animals, a series for Channel 4.

Packham is known for his work as a television presenter which began in 1986 with the BAFTA-winning BBC1 children's programme The Really Wild Show[3] (1986 - 1995) and nature photography series Wild Shots on Channel 4. He also wrote and presented the BBC One series The X Creatures[3] and BBC Two's Hands on Nature and Nature's Calendar. Other television series included Go Wild (Live) and Travel UK for Central Television, Nature's Detectives (BBC),[9] Really Wild Guide (BBC2) The Good Sex Guide Series III[10] and The Great Dinosaur Trail which he wrote and presented for LTV Carlton Television, Watchout Series II and III as lead presenter, Animal Zone (BBC2), Postcards from the Wild and An Evening with Chris Packham for Discovery Animal Planet.. Other network television programmes included Flying Gourmets Guide (BBC1), The Great British Birdwatch (live) for BBC, Smokescreen (Harlech Television), Beachwatch (Live), Flamingo Watch (Live) and Heading South (Live) for the BBC, and Behind the Scenes of the Lost World for Meridian Television.

During this time Chris Packham was involved in numerous regional television series such as The London Wildlife Challenge for ITV Carlton Television, Anything Goes (Live), Birdwatch with Chris Packham, The Pier on Film and Wildwatch with Chris Packham for Meridian Television, and Go for Green for BSB Satellite and Cable. Regional television programmes included: Through Two Cameras, The Wild Garden, The Wood Worker, The Disappearing Down, Jewels in the Sand, Wildfowl Seasons and The Keepers of the Forest.

He was the lead presenter on the BBC South's Inside Out,[3] and also works on BBC South East Inside Out with Kaddy Lee-Preston.

Since June 2009, he has co-presented the BBC Two nature programme Springwatch – and its sister programmes Autumnwatch and Winterwatch – along with Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games.[11]

He formed the production company Head Over Heels with producer Stuart Woodman, making wildlife programmes for Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC.[12][13]

In 2011, Packham won an episode of Celebrity Mastermind. His specialist subject was the Battle of Rorke's Drift.[14] He also presented the BBC programme The Animal's Guide to Britain.

In 2013 he presented a four-part documentary series entitled Secrets of Our Living Planet which demonstrated the complex ecological relationships upon which apparently unconnected species, such as tigers and crabs, depend.[15]

In 2014, Packham presented a two-part documentary in which he, Martha Kearney and Adam Hart examined in detail the behaviour of the honeybee,[16] as well as a series on animal cognition, called Inside the Animal Mind, which partly featured his own pet dogs.[17] In 2014 he presented a 10-part series The Wonder of Animals for the BBC. It included episodes on birds of prey, dolphins, crocodiles, great apes, elephants, foxes, ants, big cats, bears and penguins.[18]

In 2016 Packham co-presented a two-part series for the BBC, Cats v. Dogs: Which Is Best?, along with Liz Bonnin. The programmes compared cat behaviour and relationships with humans, against those of dogs, in the format of a mock contest. It also explored some recent research on the subject.[19]

In 2017 Packham co-presented Earth Live on Natgeo Wild with Jane Lynch and Phil Keogan. The programme was a live journey exploring some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet.[20]

In October 2017, he presented a BBC Television documentary about his experience as a high-functioning person with Asperger's, Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me. In the programme Packham examined critically the approach taken to autism and Asperger syndrome in the United States.[21][22]

Charity Work and Wildlife Conservation[edit]

Packham is president of the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust,[23] The Hampshire Ornithological Society, British Trust for Ornithology[24] and The Southampton Natural History Society.[25] He was president of the Hawk and Owl Trust between 2010 and 2015.[26]

He is vice-president of the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts,[23] Butterfly Conservation, the Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust,[27] The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Grace Secondary School (The Sudan).

Packham is patron of Population Matters (formerly the Optimum Population Trust),[28] Africat,[29] The Sholing Valleys Study Centre He is also patron of the Woolston Eyes Conservation Group, which manages Woolston Eyes Bird Reserve,[30] The Humane Research Trust,[31] The Fox Project,[32] ORCA,[33] The Seahorse Trust,[34] The NatureWatch Foundation,[35] Raptor Rescue,[36] The Fleet Pond Society and Birding for All [37]

Packham became the Ambassador for the National Autistic Society in October 2017.[38]

Honours and Awards[edit]

In 2011, he was awarded the British Trust for Ornithology's Dilys Breese Medal for his "outstanding work in promoting science to new audiences".[39]

In December 2013, Packham was made an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Southampton, having originally graduated from the university more than 30 years earlier.[40]

In December 2014, Chris Packham was voted "Conservation Hero of the Year" by readers of Birdwatch magazine in association with the online BirdGuides website for his work in publicising the illegal slaughter in Malta of millions of migrating birds.[41]

October 2016, Chris Packham received a Wildscreen Panda Award for Outstanding Achievement [42][43]

Personal life[edit]

Chris spent his early childhood in Hampshire and natural history was his main passion. He is the older brother of fashion designer Jenny Packham.[21]

He found his time at school very difficult, being socially excluded and regularly bullied by fellow pupils. In his teenage years he was responsible for the care of a kestrel, which he took from the wild and the death of which was a severe low point in his life.[21] At university he embraced the punk rock scene.[21]

Packham has had Ménière's disease since his late 30s.[44] In 2003, at the age of 42, Packham began seeing a therapist after the death of his dog, Fish. As his work with the therapist concluded in 2005, Packham was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.[45] He has also stated that he has suffered from severe depression.[46]

Chris now lives in the New Forest with his pet poodle, Scratchy.[46][47] For over ten years Packham has been in a relationship with Charlotte Corney, owner of the Isle of Wight Zoo, although the couple live separately.[21]

Views[edit]

In 2009 during an interview with the Radio Times, Packham suggested that the giant panda was too expensive to save and "should be allowed to become extinct" so that funds could be redistributed to protecting other animals and habitats.[48] He made a comment in 2008 saying he would "eat the last panda" if doing so would retroactively redistribute the money spent on panda conservation. He later apologised for upsetting people.[49]

In 2009, 2014 and 2017 he criticised the TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! for its mistreatment of animals.[50][51][52]

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph in 2010[53] Packham said that "The human population is sowing the seeds of a mass extinction event." In 2012 he expressed this view again in the Daily Mirror[54] and reiterated this in 2017[55] saying that if every woman could be emancipated birth rates would drop. [56]

In 2014 he self-funded a film crew to produce a series to highlight the mass killing of migrating birds by hunters in Malta.[57] In April 2017 he was arrested and charged with assault while filming on the Maltese island of Gozo.[58] The case was dismissed after video footage evidence was revealed.[59]

In 2015 Packham signed a letter to MPs to block the proposed changes to amend the Hunting Act 2004.[60] He has worked to raise awareness of the illegal persecution of raptors in the UK. [61] He resigned as President of the Hawk and Owl Trust in 2015 citing "Personal differences over ideas of policy". [62] Later in 2015 Packham wrote an article in BBC Wildlife magazine complaining about the silence of many of Britain's leading conservation organisations on the issues of fox hunting, badger culling and hen harrier persecution. This elicited a public response from the Countryside Alliance calling for the BBC to sack him.[63]

Works[edit]

Books[edit]

Papers[edit]

  • Packham, Chris (March 1985). "Role of male Kestrel during incubation". British Birds. 78 (3): 144–5. 
  • Packham, Chris (April 1985). "Bigamy by the Kestrel". British Birds. 78 (4): 194–5. 

Video[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chris Packham". Desert Island Discs. 13 October 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Rees, Caroline. "Chris Packham: a force of nature". SAGA magazine. SAGA. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "BBC Inside Out – South: Presenter profile". BBC. Retrieved 12 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "CWIS PACKHAM RETURNS TO HIS ROOTS". Hampshire Life. Archant Life Ltd. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Past Student – Chris Packham". Tauntons.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Alumni- Where are they now?". Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Biog". Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Stephen, Bolwell (14 December 2014). "Wandering the Borders of Believability". Take A Picture - Save the Planet. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  9. ^ "Nature Detectives". British Films Forever. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  10. ^ "IMDb - The Good Sex Guide". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0437721/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast. Retrieved 18 November 2017.  External link in |website= (help)
  11. ^ Tim Scoones (18 March 2009). "Springwatch 2009 – new presenter team announced". BBC. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  12. ^ "Chris Packham biography". David Foster Management. 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Really Wild man grows up". Southern Daily Echo. 19 February 2000. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Episode 3, 2011/2012, Celebrity Mastermind - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Secrets of our Living Planet". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Hive Alive". BBC. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  17. ^ "Inside The Animal Mind". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "The wonder of animals". BBC 4. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Cats v. Dogs; Which is Best?". BBC. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Natgeo Wild. Earth Live". 
  21. ^ a b c d e "Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me".  . 17 October 2017. BBC Television. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  22. ^ Wollaston, Sam (2017-10-18). "Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me review – a brave, ballsy film". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-10-19. 
  23. ^ a b Tim Scoones (18 March 2009). "Springwatch Blog: Springwatch 2009 – new presenter team announced". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "British Trust for Ornithology". Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  25. ^ "Chris Packham - Charites". Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  26. ^ "Hawk and Owl Trust". Hawk and Owl Trust. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2017. 
  27. ^ "Brent Lodge Bird and Wildlife Trust". Brentlodge.org. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  28. ^ "Population Matters welcomes Chris Packham as new patron". Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  29. ^ "Africat". Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  30. ^ "Woolston Eyes – Bird Reserve and Conservation Group". December 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  31. ^ "The Humane Research Trust". Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  32. ^ "The Fox Project - About Us". The Fox Project. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  33. ^ "ORCA - Partners". ORCA. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  34. ^ "The Seahorse Trust - Chris Packham". The Seahorse Trust. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  35. ^ "The NatureWatch Foundation - Our Patrons". The NatureWatch Foundation. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  36. ^ "Raptor Rescue Patrons". Raptor Rescue. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  37. ^ "Patrons - Birding For All". Birding For All. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  38. ^ "National Autistic Society. Chris Packham, television presenter and naturalist, is our charity's new ambassador (16 October 2017)". The National Autistic Society. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017. 
  39. ^ Pitches, Adrian. "'Science geek' picks up BTO medal". British Birds. 104 (1): 52. ISSN 0007-0335. 
  40. ^ "Chris Packham receives honorary doctorate in Southampton". BBC News. 19 December 2013. 
  41. ^ "Chris Packham is voted Conservation Hero of the Year". BirdGuides. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  42. ^ "The Ivory Game Game Wins Wild Screen Golden Panda Award". Wildscreen. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  43. ^ "Radio Times - Springwatch presenter Chris Packham honoured with lifetime achievement award at Gree Oscars". The Radio Times. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  44. ^ Hagan, Pat (21 October 2014). "'My dizziness got so bad I feared it was a brain tumour,' says Chris Packham". Daily Express. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  45. ^ McLean, Craig (18 May 2016). "Chris Packham on coping with Asperger's, grief and why he owes his dogs his life". RadioTimes.com. Intermediate Media Company. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  46. ^ a b Press Association (30 April 2016). "Wildlife presenter Chris Packham tells of struggle with depression". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  47. ^ Harley, Nicola (30 April 2016). "Wildlife presenter Chris Packham reveals how his pets' deaths made him suicidal". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  48. ^ "Radio Times - Autumnwathc's Chris Packham: Let Pandas Die". Radio times. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  49. ^ "The Mirror newspaper". The Mirror. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  50. ^ "The Guardian". The Guardian. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  51. ^ "The Independent - Chris Packham's Open Letter to Ant and Dec Calling For an End to I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here". The Independent. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  52. ^ "MSN - Chris Packham Slams I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here". MSN Entertainment. 27 November 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  53. ^ "The Daily Telegraph - Chris Packham says control the population to save wildlife". The Daily Telegraph. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  54. ^ "The Mirror - We need to stop having so many kids". The Mirror. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  55. ^ "Population Matters. Chris Packham speaks out on impact of population". Population Matters. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  56. ^ "Sunday Express - Chris Packham: UK too overcrowded as uneducated women must be taught to stop having babies". The Sunday Express. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  57. ^ "The Guardian - Why I'm fighting to stop the slaughter of Malta's wild birds". The Guardian. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  58. ^ "the Guardian - Chris Packham charged in Malta after bird hunt confrontation". 19 April 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  59. ^ "The Daily Mail - Revealed - Video footage that cleared wildlife presenter Chris Packham". The Daily Mail. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  60. ^ "The Independent - Fox Hunting Ban: SNP says it will defeat Conservative plan to relax ban". The Independent. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  61. ^ "RSPB - Chris Packham to speak out against the illegal persecution of birds of prey". RSPB. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  62. ^ "Birdguides - Hawk and Owl Trust lose Chris Packham and court controversy". Birdguides. 13 Feb 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  63. ^ "The Guardian - Countryside Alliance urges BBC to sack Chris Packham in conservation row". The Guardian. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 

External links[edit]