Chris Packham’s stepdaughter on their different approaches to live TV ‘He’ll just ramble’

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TV presenter Chris Packham had a new co-presenter on Autumnwatch, thanks in part to the coronavirus outbreak. The 59-year-old star normally hosts the nature show with Michaela Strachan, however the COVID-19 restrictions has kept them miles apart.

Stepping in to front the show with her stepfather was new face Megan McCubbin, 25.

The zoologist got the gig after launching a birdwatching series with Chris during the first lockdown, while isolating with him at his country cottage.

The success of their online series – The Self-Isolating Bird Club – led to her appearance on the prime-time TV show.

Megan, who is the daughter of Jo – Chris’ ex partner for over a decade, opened up about how they both prepare for their live television appearances.

During an interview with the Observer, she said she prefers to research and prep, while Chris is able to recall information about a number of animals and insects off the top of his head.

“I like to take my time and prep a little more than Chris does,” she told the publication.

“He can just turn up and they’ll tell him five minutes before he goes live, ‘You’re talking about the hairstreak butterfly today,’ and he’ll just ramble it off without any prior preparation,” Megan said of her nature-loving stepfather.

Reassuring a nervous Megan ahead of her stint on the BBC, Chris quite rightly pointed out that she had been able to host their online show “with no script and no planning” for weeks.

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During lockdown, the pair, who share a love of the natural world, wrote a book together.

Back to Nature: How to Love Life goes on sale later this week.

“I’m so excited!” Megan wrote on Twitter ahead of the book’s Thursday release.

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