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Chris Packham given bodyguard on Winterwatch after receiving ‘specific’ threats

‘Winterwatch’ presenter said he’s received two threats in the last month

Tom Murray
Wednesday 17 January 2024 00:59 GMT
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Body of dead fox left outside Chris Packham's home

Chris Packham has revealed that he has been allocated a bodyguard while filming BBC Two’s Winterwatch due to “specific threats” against him.

The 62-year-old presenter and animal rights activist said two threats have been made against him in the last month alone.

Speaking to The Mirror about the threats, Packham said: “A couple of times recently, before the Watches, we’ve had specific threats for me.

“So we’ve had a person who’s there and stays at the hotel, and then goes with me to the place.”

The bodyguard is said to accompany Packham during and after filming in RSPB Arne in Dorset this week.

“We have had several threats recently that are not death threats but they’re saying, ‘We’re going to harm you’,” he said.

Chris Packham (PA)

“And they come, unbelievably, from emails. So we’ve got the person’s email address; obviously, I’ve reported them to the police. I haven’t heard back from the police but they’ve acknowledged receipt of them.

“So we’ve had two in the last month, saying, ‘I’m going to harm you and harm your family’.”

He added: “They know who these people are - ish.

“They don’t know precisely which person it is but they said that, you know, sometimes these things play out over a couple of years, because eventually they might fall out with one another, and then they will grass one another up, they are career criminals.

“The police described them as career criminals and on that account, they were probably paid to do the job. And they didn’t come from anywhere around here. They came from somewhere quite far off.”

Speaking about the show, Packham said: “It’s going to get cold, which is not good for us because we’ll be freezing. But that’s perfect. That’s what we want, we need Winterwatch to be cold.

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“The audience always say, ‘Why have you and Michaela got so many layers on?’ Well, I’ll tell you what, mate, you’re on your sofa indoors.

“We’ve been standing around out here all day. Not doing any exercise, just standing still.”

Chris Packham (PA Wire)

Packham has received threats before and had dead crows strung up outside his home after Natural England revoked licences for controlling 16 species of bird following a legal challenge by the Wild Justice group he founded.

In 2020, Packham returned home to find a dead badger hanging from his front gate. The find was linked to the presenter’s well-known opposition to badger culling.

He also claims to have had excrement sent through the post.

Speaking about such aggression previously, he said it “fuels” him.

He said: “It never makes me angry, depressed, worried, it makes me think they’re doing these things because they’re being backed into a corner and lashing out.

“I’m interested in getting results, I will plough on regardless.”

Winterwatch films wildlife encounters from across the British Isles and series 12 of the show is the first to be set in Dorset since 2017.

The new series started on Tuesday night at 8pm on BBC Two, and is on for the next three nights.

Additional reporting from the Press Association

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