Chris Packham: I would rather do my duty than be a national treasure

He said he has a responsibility as an environmentalist.

Chris Packham has said he would rather “do my duty as an environmentalist than be called a national treasure”.

The Springwatch star said there are still people who do not like him because he is trying to change their minds faster than they are comfortable with.

He told Hello! magazine: “Can old punk rockers become national treasures?

“I don’t know. I’m still fighting hard against what I see as environmental injustices and I still have people who very much don’t like me because I’m trying to get them to change their mind more quickly than they would like.

“And that’s always going to be part and parcel of my life.

Chris Packham and step-daughter Megan McCubbin (Hello!/PA)

“I’d rather be comfortable at night knowing I have done my duty as an environmentalist than being called a national treasure.”

Packham also spoke of his pride in stepdaughter Megan McCubbin over her presenting role on Springwatch and said: “She did really well. I said to her: ‘You figure out what you want to say and I’ll fill in around you.’

“I don’t need to own anything, I’ve got nothing to prove. I was there as a support mechanism, really, and wasn’t needed.

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Just wanted to post and say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has commented and sent me messages over the last couple days. I am so grateful to all of you and I will do my best to get back to you all individually as soon as possible 😁💚 This really is an exceptional year for @bbcspringwatch. It’s technically challenging with everyone working from home. But the first two shows have been incredible which is testament to such a brilliant and dedicated team! And there is so much more coming up too… Remember to keep up with our digital platforms! The lovely @hannahstitfall is on at 9am and 5pm with some special guests and great info. @chris.packham and I are on at 12pm each day too. You can catch all of us on @bbcspringwatch Facebook and @bbciplayer! Thank you all again 🦋🦊🐸🌸 #bbcspringwatch2020 #bbctwo #wildlife #conservation #wildlifetv #whatsthataboutbirdsong?

A post shared by Megan McCubbin (@megan_mccubbinphoto) on

“She believes in what she’s got to say, she’s excited by the science and committed to the environmental aspects of it.”

McCubbin added she has had a marriage proposal from a fan since her debut, saying: “I had this young man who contacted me to say that his older brother would like to marry me but is too afraid to message me directly. But if I’d like to message him, here’s his account.

“I said: ‘You’re going to get in so much trouble but that’s very sweet. I like the effort.’”

Packham, who was in a relationship with Megan’s mother Jo McCubbin for 10 years, has been living with his stepdaughter during lockdown because McCubbin is a nurse.

While living together, they established the Self-Isolating Bird Club, a daily, 30-minute broadcast live-streamed from their garden on Facebook which caught the attention of Springwatch producers who suggested she join the show as a guest presenter.

She said: “I was slightly nervous, but I met Chris when I was two years old so have always grown up around film crews.

“I was with my stepdad, and who better to learn from than him? He’s a role model of mine professionally and it’s great that he happens to be my stepdad as well.”

Chris Packham in Hello!

The full interview is in Hello!, out now.

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