TV naturalist Chris Packham: 'People expect me to turn up naked'


TV naturalist Chris Packham says he leaves people baffled because they expect him to turn up to functions naked - after confusing him for a naturist.

The 52-year-old Springwatch presenter said the mix-up between the two similar terms had occurred regularly over the years when plugging his personal appearances.

"I'm always expected to perform naked," he admitted.

"I do a series of talks and someone told me the other day that there had been a misprint. It was in Jersey. I didn't see it but a few people tweeted me about the show and told me that I was expected to turn up naked.

"It's not that they were disappointed. They would have been disappointed if I had."

Packham returns to Springwatch later this month joined again by Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games.

But he said he might be struggling to keep up his tradition of slipping references to song titles into the programmes because he is running out of well-known bands for which he knows enough songs.

He has kept in-the-know viewers entertained over the years by dropping tracks by groups such as The Smiths, The Cure, Manic Street Preachers and David Bowie over the years. But in last year's Autumnwatch he resorted to cinema references.

The former Really Wild Show host said his choices tended to be done at the last moment: "I hadn't thought about it yet. Wildlife comes first, that comes second.

"It's normally the night before that I choose the bands. To be honest with you, it's becoming increasingly difficult because the bands I'm interested in are not bands that are widely known, and of course I need to know all of the songs because I don't know what these guys (Michaela and Martin) are going to say, so I just have to respond and drop them in.

"So if they're not in my mind that's not something I could learn. I couldn't do Coldplay and wouldn't ever - all those bands I'm not interested in, and they have to be bands with a wider national appeal - and a lot of the bands I'm interested in don't have wide popular appeal."

Packham went on: "I did movie references at Christmas with Autumnwatch - Oscar-winning films because I could remember most of the films in my lifetime that had won best picture. I had forgotten Kramer Vs Kramer and that wretched Lord Of The Rings film won an Oscar."

The new series of Springwatch is part of the BBC's Summer of Wildlife season, which will include a new daytime series Springwatch In The Afternoon presented by Nick Baker, Britain's Big Wildlife Revival presented by Countryfile's Ellie Harrison, and a mini-series with Packham called The Burrowers, about the lives of badgers, moles and rabbits.