Chris Packham is stepping down as a TV presenter. Read the full story about his decision on the website.

One of the UK’s highest profile nature presenters has revealed he is at a career crossroads, as he tries to determine the best use of his time to save the planet.

For nearly 40 years, Chris Packham has fronted TV shows about wildlife, beginning his career in children’s TV, and now being touted as a natural successor to pioneering presenter Sir David Attenborough.

Now Packham has made a documentary with Channel 4 called, provisionally, Is It Time to Break the Law? and he told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that, personally, he remains unsure of the answer, as any criminal record would bring his high-profile BBC career – and huge platform – to an end.

Packham said: “I would lose my voice immediately if I went to prison. I would also lose part of my mind, if not all of it, because that environment is not suitable for someone like myself. I’ve always been terrified of prisons.” [Packham was diagnosed with autism in his forties, he is now 62.]

“So is going to prison the right thing to do? There are people who would argue that that would be a big step, it would send a message, the whole Mandela thing. I’m not comparing myself to Mandela, but you know what I mean. Symbolically those sorts of things can be very powerful. But is that the best use of Chris Packham, or is it coming up with other imaginative ways of keeping the message in the public domain?… I’m not saying it might not happen at some point.”

There is no mistaking Packham’s sincerity on the issue, as he continued:

“I need to be more active. I’m 62 years old, I’m running out of time, I’ve got to try to alleviate some of the grotesque guilt I carry for our generation not having done the work early enough. I can’t help but feel a degree of personal responsibility.”

Although still debating the issue himself, Packham has shown his support for activists arrested and jailed for their protests in recent times. He told The Guardian he had visited Marcus Decker in prison, following Decker’s arrest with Morgan Trowland for scaling the Queen Elizabeth Bridge to the east of London and unfurling a Just Stop Oil banner. Under public nuisance orders, both were given jail sentences. Packham told The Guardian:

“Marcus got two years and seven months, and Morgan got three years. Outrageously draconian sentences.”

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