We were first introduced to Megan McCubbin, Chris Packham’s stepdaughter, during Springwatch 2020. Megan appeared alongside Chris as his co-presenter while she was self-isolating with him in his remote cottage in the New Forest.
Due to social distancing restrictions, the Springwatch presenters were unable to gather at their usual hub (the Cairngorms, Scotland) so instead broadcast stories of spring live from their local areas across the UK — and Megan joined Chris most evenings.
Megan McCubbin on Autumnwatch 2020
Autumnwatch will return to our screens from Tuesday 27th October and Chris has confirmed that his stepdaughter Megan will join him once more, saying that he hopes "young people’s ideas, perspectives and passions" will inspire a new generation of wildlife-lovers to "follow in their footsteps”.
“I’m pleased to see that Megan is doing some more stuff, not because she is my stepdaughter – that makes it a little challenging – but because she’s 25-years-old," Chris told journalists in a recent Zoom interview about the new series. "I’m equally, therefore, pleased to see that we’ve got other young presenters doing things for us again."
Chris compares Megan’s work ethic and passion to that of his long-standing co-presenter and friend Michaela Strachan, who Chris would normally be presenting Autumnwatch alongside were it not for the pandemic. “Megs is really keen on her science. She’s a bit like Michaela really. She works really, really hard and is very dedicated and diligent, and very prepared and professional despite her young age. She’s taken leaves out of Michaela’s book there.
“That’s good from my point of view because it means I can carry on being cavalier, even though I’m not with Michaela. I’ll turn up last minute and babble on about some stuff which may be related to what we’re meant to be talking about and I’ll be kept in check by Megs if Michaela can’t be alongside me.”
Who is Chris Packham's stepdaughter, Megan McCubbin?
Much like her stepfather, 25-year-old Megan also has a passionate for nature and animals, working as a zoologist. After becoming hooked on the natural world as a young child, Megan went on to study zoology at Liverpool University and also won the under 12's RSPCA wildlife photographer of the year award back in 2007.
Chris first met Megan when she was just two and the pair have remained close, despite Chris splitting from Megan's mother when she was 12-years-old.
As well as co-presenting Springwatch with Chris, Megan has also been involved in his environmental campaigns, regularly joining him on protest marches.
In March 2020, Chris launched an online birdwatching community called the Self Isolation Bird Club, to offer an escape for those self-isolating due to the coronavirus outbreak. Megan has been involved in the project, engaging with the online community.
— Megan McCubbin (@MeganMcCubbin) June 9, 2020
Speaking about how Chris has inspired her own love of nature, she told The Telegraph: "His fascination in nature is so infectious that you can't help but be excited by what he is excited by. He introduced me to a porcupine at a zoo when I was little and that was it."
— Megan McCubbin (@MeganMcCubbin) May 28, 2020
— Megan McCubbin (@MeganMcCubbin) May 4, 2020
Megan McCubbin and Chris Packham in lockdown
When lockdown restrictions were announced in the UK, Megan made the decision to move into Chris' cottage so they could continue their wildlife projects together.
She says: "I've been moving around a bit over the last few years. I was at my mum's just before lockdown but she works for the NHS and as she was going to be in and out of hospital, I knew I wanted to continue working, so I came to stay with Chris.
"We have such a deep respect for one another. We have not lived together since I was 12, but I have always come backwards and forwards to spend a week or weekends at his house. To have this lockdown period of time has been great – spending time doing what we love outdoors. We both love learning about nature together and he has been a fantastic teacher. He is a role model of mine as well, and I'm lucky to have him as a step-dad too," Megan says.
I'm LIVE now with @MeganMcCubbin in the New Forest. Today we're joined by @RuthPeacey LIVE from Somerset & @KateHumble takes us on a spring walk through her local woodland . . . join us now ! #WildMorningswithChris https://t.co/cHB1mJMPqv
— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) April 23, 2020
Autumnwatch will air on on BBC Two every week night at 8pm from Tuesday 27th October. You can catch up on the whole series on BBC iPlayer. You can also catch up on 'Out to lunch with Chris and Megs' in the BBC website here.
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