Chris Packham hits back at claim he’s retiring after Autumnwatch axe

Autumnwatch: Chris Packham opens the 2022 series

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The BBC announced last week that due to financial challenges, there will no longer be an Autumnwatch, but luckily for fans, the Spring and Winter series will be continuing. Passionate wildlife advocate Chris Packham presents all three, and some have since speculated he might be retiring from his role following the news. However, the 61-year-old has dismissed such claims as being “wide off the mark”.

The naturalist and television presenter is known for taking part in all kinds of wildlife-focused programmes.

Speaking to recently, he even said Aumtumwatch was his favourite of the Watch series.

However, it seems the show’s cancellation won’t stop him from doing other work.

“Reports that I am retiring from television forever are wide off the mark,” he remarked.

“But I am having a three-month break from TV now the documentary is finished and Winterwatch is done.

“I’ve always had a creative side. I write, I take photographs and I make art.

“I’m currently into Brutalism and I’m making huge steel sculptures that are, very loosely, of animals.”

Speaking in this week’s RadioTimes, he continued: “No one needs to see them.

“It’s a personal thing that I have to exorcise.

“I’m not having some sort of mental breakdown or collapse.

“I’ve mainly made this decision because of creative frustration rather than burnout.”

While the nature-loving TV star will be stepping away for a while, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back presenting Springwatch later this year.

Chatting to last year, Chris explained why he believes the Watch series is so popular with audiences.

He commented: “We get good audience response.

“They’re always very excited that they see things that are new, they’re always very excited when they’ve provided a resource for wildlife, [like] bird food or bird boxes or feeding mammals and so on and so forth.

“And in fact, their enthusiasm, the audience’s enthusiasm is a great fuel for us on the programme.

“You know it means that we’re connecting and meeting our mission.

“And our mission is to engage people with UK wildlife and make sure that they understand that it’s interesting, fascinating, beautiful and worthy of looking after.

“And they take that on board, you know, and then occasionally we do the more hard-hitting things.”

While viewers have expressed disappointment over Autumnwatch’s cancellation, many will be relieved to learn Chris isn’t retiring from television just yet.

Autumnwatch’s previous series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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