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
Alma mater University of Southampton
Occupation Nature photographer, television presenter, author
Years active 1986 – Present
Family Jenny Packham (sister)
Awards Dilys Breese Medal

Christopher Gary Packham (born 4 May 1961), known as Chris, 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 since 2009.[2]

Life and work[edit]

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]


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

Packham is known for his television work, notably in the BAFTA-winning BBC1 children's programme The Really Wild Show[3] and nature photography series Wild Shots on Channel 4, as well as the BBC One series The X Creatures[3] and BBC Two's Hands on Nature and Nature's Calendar. 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.[8]

He formed the production company Head Over Heels with producer Stuart Woodman, making wildlife programmes for Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC.[9][10]

In 2011, Packham won an episode of Celebrity Mastermind. His specialist subject was the Battle of Rorke's Drift.[11] 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.[12]

In 2014, Packham presented a two-part documentary in which he, Martha Kearney and Adam Hart examined in detail the behaviour of the honeybee,[13] as well as a series on animal cognition, called Inside the Animal Mind, which partly featured his own pet dogs.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

In 2017 Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me documents his experience as a high-functioning person with Asperger syndrome.[17]


Packham is president of the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust,[18] vice-president of the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts,[18] Butterfly Conservation and the Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust[19] and patron of Population Matters (formerly the Optimum Population Trust).[20] He is also patron of the Woolston Eyes Conservation Group, which manages Woolston Eyes Bird Reserve.[21] He was president of the Hawk and Owl Trust between 2010 and 2015.[citation needed]


In 2011, he was awarded the British Trust for Ornithology's Dilys Breese Medal for his "outstanding work in promoting science to new audiences".[22]

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.[23]

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.[24]




  • 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. 



  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". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Alumni- Where are they now?". Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Biog". Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Tim Scoones (18 March 2009). "Springwatch 2009 – new presenter team announced". BBC. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "Chris Packham biography". David Foster Management. 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Really Wild man grows up". Southern Daily Echo. 19 February 2000. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Episode 3, 2011/2012, Celebrity Mastermind - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  12. ^ "Secrets of our Living Planet". BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Hive Alive". BBC. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "Inside The Animal Mind". BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  15. ^ "The wonder of animals". BBC 4. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "Cats v. Dogs; Which is Best?". BBC. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ a b Tim Scoones (18 March 2009). "Springwatch Blog: Springwatch 2009 – new presenter team announced". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Brent Lodge Bird and Wildlife Trust". 3 April 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  20. ^ "Population Matters welcomes Chris Packham as new patron". Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "Woolston Eyes – Bird Reserve and Conservation Group". December 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Pitches, Adrian. "'Science geek' picks up BTO medal". British Birds. 104 (1): 52. ISSN 0007-0335. 
  23. ^ "Chris Packham receives honorary doctorate in Southampton". BBC News. 19 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Chris Packham is voted Conservation Hero of the Year". BirdGuides. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 

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