Chris Packham has responded to the BBC’s decision to axe the popular wildlife programme Autumnwatch by airing his own free-to-view online wildlife extravaganza.
The respected expert and trusted voice in the conservation of UK wildlife will broadcast live from the British Wildlife Centre for the second week of the streamed show ‘8 Out Of 10 Bats’.
He will be joined by Megan McCubbin, who co-presented the much-loved Self Isolating Bird Club with Packham during the lockdowns of 2020.
The pair will broadcast four hour long shows (7.30pm-8.30pm) from October 30 to November 2 at the British Wildlife Centre – home to the finest collection of native species in the country.
With over forty different species of wild animals living in natural enclosures on display, owner David Mills MBE is a strong advocate of teaching children to appreciate Britain’s native wild species and encourage them to grow a life-long interest in its conservation.
As is Packham, who as well as showcasing a fabulous variety of wildlife on ‘8 Out Of 10 Bats’ will be giving new talent a platform. The show will feature a significant number of young film makers, conservationists, presenters and campaigners under the age of 25.
“At a time when we are being constantly bombarded with so much negative news about our precious wildlife we want to share our passion for what we love most – all that unparalleled wonder for our natural world which grips young and old alike,” said Packham.
“8 Out Of 10 Bats is about being excited by a love of life, everything which slimes, slithers or stings. But it’s also about making sure young people have a voice and an opportunity to showcase their extraordinary abilities.”
The show promises to be passionate, fascinating and educational, featuring topical films, hilarious props, informative demonstrations, live wildlife cameras and of course Packham and McCubbin winging it live.
Which might mean a starring role for some of the animals at the British Wildlife Centre, such as otters, Scottish wildcats and pine martens, as well as foxes, deer and beautiful free-flying British owls.
“We are so pleased that Chris and Megan have chosen to host their 8 Out Of 10 Bats broadcast at the British Wildlife Centre,” said David Mills.
“We share Chris’ passion and concern for Britain’s precious wildlife, and a wish to inspire a love and appreciation for all the fascinating wild species found in the UK. Our philosophy is ‘conservation through education’, and in this Chris excels.”
The magazine style show will air via the online platform YouTube from Dundreggan Rewilding Centre in Scotland (October 23-26) and the British Wildlife Centre (October 31-November 2).
“If you’re feeling starved of wildlife TV this autumn then 8 Out Of 10 Bats will bring some joy and escapism to these darker evenings and celebrate the species on our doorstep and beyond,” added McCubbin.
“The British Wildlife Centre is a spectacular location and I can’t wait to get started and our wildlife nerdiness on!”