Nature presenter and author Chris Packham has confirmed reports that he is taking a break from TV and has explained his reasons for doing so.


Speaking in this week's Radio Times magazine, Packham, who will later this month be seen presenting BBC Two documentary Inside Our Autistic Minds, has said that "reports that I am retiring from television forever are wide of the mark".

Instead, he clarified that he is "having a three-month break from TV now the documentary is finished and Winterwatch is done".

He explained: "I’ve always had a creative side. I write, I take photographs and I make art. I’m currently into Brutalism and I’m making huge steel sculptures that are, very loosely, of animals. No one needs to see them. It’s a personal thing that I have to exorcise."

Packham said that he's "not having some sort of mental breakdown or collapse" and that he's "mainly made this decision because of creative frustration rather than burnout".

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Chris Packham for Inside Our Autistic Minds
Chris Packham for Inside Our Autistic Minds. BBC / Richard Ansett

However, he also said that another reason for the break is "related to my state of mind", adding, "I’ve had, for the first time and perhaps belatedly, eco-anxiety. I’m angry and I’m scared."

He said: "The environmental movement needs a rethink. We’ve been working extremely hard, demonstrating, organising petitions, protesting, taking direct action. Some have even been gluing themselves to things, but we’re still failing to stop the rot.

"So I’ll be spending three months thinking hard about how I’m going to spend the next three. Because the next three, the three after and the three after that are becoming increasingly important when it comes to winning this battle to protect life on Earth."

Packham is particularly known for presenting the Watches on TV, including Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch, the latter of which has recently been cancelled by the BBC.

The broadcaster explained its decision, saying in a statement: "These are challenging times financially and we need to make difficult decisions and focus our resources on content that has the highest impact.

"Sadly, this means that Autumnwatch will not be continuing. Instead, we are investing more money into Springwatch and Winterwatch, as they are most popular with audiences."


Springwatch returns to the BBC in May. Check out more of our Factual coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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