Michaela Strachan: Why is Michaela Strachan not on Winterwatch?

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Wildlife series Winterwatch starts this evening on BBC Two at 8pm. There will be eight episodes in the new series which will be airing on consecutive nights between January 19 to 29 Tuesdays to Fridays. Express.co.uk takes a look at the new series and why one beloved member of the team won’t be there.

Why is Michaela Strachan not on Winterwatch?

The BBC confirmed in December 2020 Winterwatch would be returning but sadly host Michaela Strachan wouldn’t be part of the line-up due to coronavirus restrictions.

A statement from the broadcaster read: “Please be aware that unfortunately due to lockdown restrictions, Michaela Strachan is unable to participate in Winterwatch 2021 this year as a presenter.

“We are all deeply saddened that Michaela is unable to be there in person this time, but she will be in conversation with Chris Packham during the first episode, from her home in South Africa.

“Chris Packham, Iolo Williams, Gillian Burke and Megan McCubbin will continue to present Winterwatch 2021.”

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She was due to be joining fellow presenters Chris, Iolo and Gillian on the show but this is no longer the case.

Michaela was going to be at Tentsmuir in North-East Fife, Scotland where she was going to follow up on the seal pups featured in Autumnwatch last year.

This is not the first time Michaela has had to miss out on the show with the star being absent from Springwatch last year due to the first lockdown.

Michael and her family live in Cape Town, South Africa and with the latest travel bans, she has been prevented from coming to the UK.

At the time, Michaela’s co-host Chris said he was “heartbroken” she would unable to participate in the show.

However, Michaela did manage to make it to the UK for Autumnwatch last year and was based in Scotland for the show.

Even though Michaela will be in South Africa, she is going to feature on the first episode as she chats to Chris from her home.

This year will see the presenting line-up again reporting from various regions more local to them.

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Chris will be located in the New Forest near his home as the season transforms the area.

Iolo will be at the at The Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales where he is hoping to spot some breathtaking murmurations.

Meanwhile, Gillian will be at South Yorkshire’s RPSB Old Moor and investigating how the wildlife in the area is being revitalised through a project.

Then there’s young naturalist Indy Green who is expected to look for the elusive Goshawk in Sherwood Forest.

Presumably, Megan will be heading to Tentsmuir on behalf of Michaela to catch up with the seal pups.

Previously speaking about Winterwatch and her favourite part of the series, Michaela said: “The beauty of a cold crisp morning. If you’re dressed for it, it can be so invigorating.

“Last year when we were up in the Cairngorms, the snow made everything look so beautiful.

“You can get a huge amount of satisfaction when you go out all wrapped up to enjoy something like a starling murmuration. The wildlife aerial ballet is something everyone should see at least once in their lives.”

Winterwatch starts on BBC Two tonight at 8pm

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