‘She wasn’t impressed’ Chris Packham left Megan McCubbin’s mum unhappy with risky stunt

Autumnwatch: Chris recalls putting jam on Megan’s nose

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Chris Packham, 60, is well known for his love of wildlife, however, his ex-Jo McCubbin “wasn’t so pleased” when he encouraged her daughter Megan McCubbin, 25, to take part in a potentially dangerous stunt in their garden. The Autumnwatch host dated Jo from when the young nature enthusiast was just two years old and he has continued to be a presence in her life, as the pair now work together on BBC wildlife programmes together.

In Wednesday’s episode of Autumnwatch, Chris shared how he would encourage Megan to not fear wasps when she was young.

He told his co-host Michaela Strachan: “I’ve always been a great fan of wasps and hornets.

“When Megan was younger, I was very keen that she learned to love them too. 

“We had a wasp nest in the garden. So I put some jam out on the table so they got used to coming to it. 

“I got Megan to sit down at the table and I put a whole load of jam on my nose till it was covered with wasps, so that she could see they were harmless, then much to her initial disappointment I put a little dob of jam on her nose and the wasps came. 

“I have a picture of her cross-eyed looking at the wasp. Her mum wasn’t so pleased at the time,” he added with a nervous laugh.

Chris, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, previously spoke on the podcast How Do You Cope?… with Elis and John about certain implications of his condition. 

The Autumnwatch star said that one of the difficulties is struggling to be “physically touched” by strangers or even loved ones, including his stepdaughter Megan.

Chris shared: “I don’t like being physically touched by strangers, or even people I know to be quite honest.”

Speaking on showing affection to Megan when she was a child, Chris insisted that he knew it was important.

He said: “I cuddled her as a child, because I understood that was something I needed to do, but we don’t spend time embracing now.”

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However, sometimes Megan, who works on Autumnwatch with Chris, will spontaneously give him a hug and he finds it difficult to reciprocate the gesture.

The TV presenter added: “Sometimes if we haven’t seen each other for a while, she comes up and insists on giving me a big hug. I just sort of close my eyes and wince.”

Although Chris and Jo split when Megan was 11, the star and his stepdaughter have remained close.

Recently the pair spent lockdown together for logistical and health reasons.

Megan’s mum is a nurse, while Chris’ partner Charlotte Corny runs the Isle of White Zoo.

While isolating together, the now-colleagues penned a book entitled Back to Nature: How to Love Life and Save it.

However, Chris described one irritation that he had with Megan while they were cooped up indoors together.

He recalled: “The one thing she did in lockdown that got on my pip was make a mess of the kitchen. 

“Why make pastry? You can buy it pre-made. You get out the flour, you put it on the worktop and It goes everywhere – the floor, your clothes, the poodles.”

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