Chris Packham cancels upcoming TV work after feeling ‘burnt out’


The Springwatch presenter is planning to turn his hand to animal sculptures during his break from telly

Tom Beasley

·Contributor

Tue, 24 January 2023 at 11:03 am GMT

Chris Packham is taking a break from TV work, and he's very excited about it. (PA/Getty)
Chris Packham is taking a break from TV work, and he’s very excited about it. (PA/Getty)

TV naturalist Chris Packham has cleared his calendar of upcoming work so that he can have a three-month break to recharge his batteries.

The 61-year-old presenter told the Mirror he was feeling “burnt out” after many busy years on our screens and wanted to take some time out to pursue his hobby of making animal sculptures.

Packham joked that he was so excited for the free time that he was contemplating banning his partner — Isle of Wight Zoo owner Charlotte Corney — from his studio.

He said: “I’m not going to buy a Ferrari and run off with a 20-year-old. I’ve never taken three months off work. Never. I can barely sleep I am so excited.”

Packham said the opportunity to get some peace and quiet while working on his sculptures is a very attractive part of the plan.

He said: “I don’t want any interference or disruption, I want to get on with it. It will be good to clear my head and focus on something completely different.”

Packham explained that he was inspired by a filming trip to Chile, in which he had to spend 10 days isolating in a hotel after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19.

“I got up every morning and I was typing all day long and I thought ‘this is good’,” said the presenter.

Chris Packham will return alongside Iolo Williams, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke for the new series of Winterwatch. (BBC)
Chris Packham will return alongside Iolo Williams, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke for the new series of Winterwatch. (BBC)

Before his work break, though, Packham will return to screens this week as the co-host of Winterwatch on the BBC, alongside Michaela Strachan.

He has fronted various shows under the Springwatch banner since taking over the programme from previous host Bill Oddie in 2009.

Packham is a vocal campaigner on environmental issues and is also became ambassador for the National Autistic Society after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

He was awarded a CBE in 2019 for his services to nature and conservation.

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