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Chris Packham admits father would be ‘envious’ of new role ‘Wish he was here’

Chris Packham calls for support in the Big Butterfly Count

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During an episode of his new show Chris Packham: The Walk That Made Me, Chris opened up about his childhood in the Hampshire countryside and the memories he made around the towns. Whilst exploring the water meadows in Compton Lock on the BBC show, Chris learnt about how the local community control flooding the meadows, prompting the presenter to candidly open up about his father.

“I tell you something, I wish my father was here to see this. He loves all of these sorts of things.” Chris explained whilst watching the water flow down the banks.

“He’s going to be so envious when I tell him what I’ve seen today and what you’ve been doing here. He positively loves all of this sort of stuff,” he explained.

Local resident and Councillor, Chris Corcoran, replied: “Well, just look at the joy it brings to everyone. Look they all love it.”

“I’ve really enjoyed this strange flooding exercise; I just wish my dad was here to see it. I wish it was his feet that were getting sodden wet like mine as well. What a thing.” Chris Packham replied.

Chris made his way over to the River Itchen, where he stopped for a moment to take in his surroundings and reminisce about when he lived there as a child.

“I like to say that this river runs through me, runs through my heart. I’m made of this river.”

He went on to say: “I grew up on its banks. Fallen in it, I’ve swum in it, I’ve got muddy in it, I’ve got cold in it, I’ve cried into it. I’ve loved alongside it, and I’ve lived alongside it.”

Chris also described how he wasn’t fond of his “accelerating decrepitude” as he took a walk along a footpath called White Lane.

“I used to virtually run up here, breeze up it like it you know was nothing. Now listen to me puffing and panting.

“That’s another thing I think you take for granted – well, I took for granted. I thought I was going to be as fit as I was when I was a kid all of my life.

“I walk every day with the dogs of course, but I’m 60 so how much do I want to invest in my physical fitness?” Chris questioned.

Even though the memories he shared were positive and uplifting, Chris has spoken about his childhood and the relationship he had with his parents ahead of the show, calling it a “fractious” one.

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He has also previously opened up about his struggles with his mental health and being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

Chris admitted, “I had a very fractious relationship with my mum and dad in my teens when I got into punk rock.”

“After I’d left home, I’d go to my parent’s home just before it got light and my dad, and I would drive somewhere, barely speaking.”

He explained that “politics” and “religion” were the two main topics that he and his parents did not agree on. Christ added that they still enjoyed each other company and would always go on walks with one another in an interview with Radio Times.

“We would wander around for three or four hours, then I’d go back to wherever I was living.” 

The Springwatch presenter also went on to say explain that his relationship with his dad was both functional and dysfunctional. 

The Hampshire-born presenter began his career in 1986 and has had a wild and successful career that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. 

Chris has had a prominent role on Springwatch since joining in 2009 where he flourished sharing his passion for nature and wildlife.

Chris Packham: The Walk That Made Me is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.  
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