Chris Packham opens up on Megan McCubbins career change

Springwatch: Megan McCubbin says she loves a ‘European shag’

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Chris Packham’s stepdaughter Megan McCubbin joined the naturalist in last year’s Watch series on BBC, making appearances in Autumwatch and Winterwatch. Speaking exclusively, to Express.co.uk, Chris detailed the moment the now-27-year-old told him she wanted to follow in his footsteps.

The 61-year-old presents the popular BBC series Springwatch as well as the autumn and winter spin-off shows.

Megan has joined in the past to help her stepdad present some episodes, and has proved a hit with fans.

Talking about Megan’s interest in his work, Chris explained: “For a long time, she wants to get into drama and acting.

“So she didn’t even do some of the science GCSE that she needs to do [for biology].

“And I remember one evening she rang me up, and she said, ‘Oh, can I come round? I need to talk to you about something.’

“And I thought, ‘She’s going to have split up with her boyfriend or something,’ that sort of air about it.

“And when she came out of the kitchen, she said, ‘I’ve changed my mind.’

“I said, ‘Changed your mind about what?’ and she said, ‘I’ve just decided that I don’t want to do drama anymore. I want to do biology.'”

Chris continued: “And I was like, ‘Hold on, you can’t just say you want to without the A-Levels.’

“And she said, ‘No, no, I’m gonna go back and redo my GCSEs and then redo my A-Levels and then do a foundation course and get my degree,’ and that’s what she ended up doing.

“I think it was because at the time she was working as a volunteer with my partner, Charlotte, who has a collection of rescue big cats, and they come from circuses.

“And Megan was really inspired by the relationship that she had with those animals.”

Chris also opened up on some of the more “gruesome” details of filming the Watch series.

As well as delighting in nature, the show often has to raise awareness of devastating events impacting animals and the natural world, which can be distressing.

Speaking about the varied content in the shows, Chris explained: “In fact, the audience’s enthusiasm is a great fuel for us on the programme.

“You know it means that we’re connecting and meeting our mission.

“Our mission is to engage people with UK wildlife and make sure that they understand that it’s interesting, fascinating, beautiful and worthy of looking after.

“And they take that on board, you know, and then occasionally we do the more hard-hitting things.

“We just did a thing about bird flu in Autumnwatch which was pretty gruesome really,” he continued.

“Bird flu has impacted very negatively on our wildlife populations this last year.

“So yeah, we also point out some of the difficulties of that wildlife is facing and hopefully that compels people to want to get out and look after it.”

Winterwatch returns for a new series on Tuesday at 8pm on BBC Two.

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