TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is a wildlife expert, photographer and author with a passionate concern for conservation and the environment. His love of nature was ignited at a young age on a ‘wasteland’ near his house (Chris says ‘it was never wasted on me!’) and was concreted by acquiring a pet kestrel when he was a boy. He also just happens to be my one and only childhood (and adult) hero. These days, you can catch him on Springwatch and Autumnwatch, but when I was young Chris rose to fame on ‘The Really Wild Show‘ – a programme I watched avidly growing up, and might be one of the reasons I’m here at this laptop writing these articles. Chris stood out with his crazy shirts, rebellious punk-rocker look, and his bleached-blond hair! He now has a couple of really cute, musically aware poodles, and as you can see in the picture above…they have all had a busy month!
As well as his recent appearance on the BBC’s (in my opinion best ever) Desert Island Discs and his support against the UK bagder cull, the celebrity news is that he and his poodles have also found the time to join the BUAV campaign. They aim to help call upon the UK Government to end the use of dogs and cats in experiments.
Chris said: “My two dogs, Itchy and Scratchy, don’t just share my home, but also my life and they have been a joy since the first day we welcomed them into my house. It is hard and terribly saddening to know that there are hundreds of dogs living in laboratories in the UK, who will never know the love of a family home and will only experience pain whilst being used in tests. That is why I am supporting the BUAV’s Our Best Friends campaign to call on the government to end animal experimentation on dogs and cats in the UK. Please join us and do the same.”
I was lucky enough to meet Chris Packham earlier this year in Surrey. I meet all kind of celebrities daily in my job so this doesn’t faze me. But with Chris, I basically became speechless, but I was curious to know what he was like in person. So I listened to him talking with others – he just gave everything. Especially to young people, all he wanted to do was encourage and inspire them, I could see his passion to share his knowledge with those he hoped would follow in his footsteps from a mile away. I had heard rumours from other people in this industry that he had a bit of an ego, they couldn’t be more wrong. He is someone who uses every waking moment of his life to help teach and encourage others on how to love our planet. He does this effortlessly, and has an amazing sense of humour too.
Well, gush over! But eventually I plucked up the courage to approach him and all I managed to blurt out was ‘can I have a photo with you?’! He was modest and flattered, he just said ‘yes, of course’ and thanked me, and I thanked him for his time. In hindsight, I wish I’d pulled myself together, given him my card, and asked him a million challenging questions I’d like advice on, about life, the universe and everything! Since then we’ve had an exchange on Twitter, which made my birthday this year! Chris, keep up the good work with our animal charities, and I hope our paths cross again someday, I’ll try to find my voice next time!
Oh, and Chris – I did send you a tweet recently about veganism – we’re all dying to know if you would consider it? Can we convert you? This would be fab vegan celebrity news indeed