Chris Packham fell into deep depression after dog was run over Everything fell apart

Chris Packham express concern for declining butterfly count

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Springwatch star Chris Packham has shared several aspects of his life with viewers, including working alongside his stepdaughter. However, the star has opened up about his battle with depression following the death of a beloved dog.

I fell into a deep and intense depression, into a dark place where everything seemed to fall apart.

Chris Packham

Chris’ stepdaughter, Megan, often appears alongside him for various roles and moved in with her stepfather ahead of the first national lockdown in March 2020, so they could carry on working alongside one another.

The naturalist has been in a long-term relationship with Megan’s mum, Charlotte Corney, despite the pair living apart.

However, for Chirs’ 40th birthday, Charlotte surprised him with the ultimate gift after becoming “bored” with hearing tales about his first dog, Max.

Chris, now 60, revealed Max died in 1995 but he didn’t get another dog until six years later.

He told Radio Times: “I was travelling a lot, I’d gone through relationship changes and moved house.

“My partner at the time was so bored with listening to stories about Max that she got me another dog, Fish, for my 40th birthday.”

He said went on to add: “Fish and I were as happy as can be, but when he was just a year old, he was run over and died in my arms.

“The suddenness and the shock was really damaging.”

Chris revealed that over the course of the six-year gap, he began to fall madly in love with Fish, more than he had initially imagined.

“Because of that six-year gap, I’d fallen in love with Fish more quickly,” he disclosed.

The Hampshire-born star continued: “He’d been bouncing around the car like poodles do, but then he was gone.”

“I fell into a deep and intense depression, into a dark place where everything seemed to fall apart,” he bravely admitted.

In 2009, Chris then was gifted Itchy and Scratchy and because of what happened to Fish, he was “terrified” his two new pups dying. 

He disclosed that Charlotte and Megan then purchased their new poodles, Sid and Nancy just eight weeks later.

However, as Scratch was being put to sleep, Sid and Nancy were being born but he admits it was “undeniably the best thing to have done but I was grieving the loss of my closest ever companions.”

The presenter added that the love between a man and dog has to grow “organically”.

Chris admitted that despite a year passing, he finds it difficult to talk about the deaths of Itchy and Scratchy.

It comes after the Autumnwatch presenter recently expressed his concerns following the decline in numbers of butterflies across the UK during an appearance on BBC Breakfast.

Last week, he said: “Of course it is about the big butterfly count today, we are launching it and as you mentioned last year we spotted 1.5 million butterflies but it was the lowest total of these insects that our surveying people have ever spotted.

“We are hoping to up the ante this year. All we need is your help. Go to and you can download this sheet.”

Read Chris’ full interview in last week’s Radio Times.

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