Chris Packham speaks on moment Michaela Strachan annoyed him with ‘eccentric’ remark

Springwatch: Michaela Strachan addresses missing show

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Chris Packham, 60, has spoken on how he found hosting Springwatch last year without his regular co-host Michaela Strachan, 54, who was forced to remain at her South African home during the first coronavirus lockdown. The TV personality teased that he had enjoyed his “peaceful stint” without his colleague, who he claimed had previously made remarks about him being “eccentric”.

I had a peaceful stint without Michaela

Chris Packham

Speaking on why she did not appear on Springwatch last year during an interview on today’s Lorraine, Michaela began: “I was stuck in South Africa and it was very difficult to not be part of the team, because Chris and I are mates, we get on so well. 

“The show is more than just a job for us. It’s a part of our lives. It’s a family we are very fond of. So I really missed it.”

Michaela and Chris appeared on the ITV show to talk to replacement host Cat Deeley from sunny Norfolk.

The 54-year-old continued: “But it was quite interesting, sitting at home watching the programme as a viewer. I actually thoroughly enjoyed it, you were very good,” she quipped to her co-star.

In response, Chris said: “Well Cat, I had a very peaceful stint without Michaela in my ear making those remarks about me appearing to be like an eccentric English gentleman.

“I got off scot-free last year,” he added.

The bickering friends have been working on Springwatch for over a decade in their bid to make the nation fall in love with nature and urge ­youngsters to engage in the natural world.

For this year’s Springwatch, Chris and Michaela are based in Norfolk, while Gillian Burke is in Northern Ireland and Iolo Williams in the Scottish Highlands, as the show is split across the UK.

Chris said: “Michaela and I will be together so we can bicker and the other two will have peace and quiet. 

“We’re going to have three hubs where we’re going to be ­broadcasting lives from and they’re very different in terms of the ecological flavour.”

Michaela added: “We’ve got a real ­selection of wildlife, I think that’s what the change has done for the watches. 

“We’re now all spread out, in a triangle across the country. That’s going to make it very wildlife-rich.”

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It comes after last week on the show Chris was confronted by his Springwatch co-host, after he claimed a challenge she had set viewers at home was “really tough”.

Michaela asked Springwatch viewers to look out for Cinnabar moths, a species native to Europe and Central Asia, as part of this show’s weekly challenge.

However, Chris felt the task was “really tough” as he explained how the moth’s food source, Ragwort, is not in great supply at the moment due to a delayed spring season.

Chris began by telling viewers how they could enter Springwatch’s animal and insect spotting challenge.

He said: “Now if you go onto the website we put a series of challenges up. Species we would like you to look out for. Some are easy, some a bit more difficult. Some very hard.”

Michaela continued: “So go on the website and see what you can tick off. I’m going to give you a challenge actually, I want to see a Cinnabar moth. Now that is on the medium list, could be a tricky one?”

Chris at this point pulled a baffled expression and pointed out that her challenge was in no way a “medium” one due to environmental constraints.

“On the medium? Now they need Ragwort, and all of the Ragwort I have seen, because of the late season, is only about up to here,” Chris said while pointing at his ankle.

He continued: “So you’re not going to get the Cinnabar moths yet. That’s really tough.”

Michaela hit back: “Look I don’t want excuses, I want results. So see what you can do. We will look out for them on Twitter and Instagram.”

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