Thats what you pay licence fee for! Chris Packham declares amid bird sex on Springwatch

Springwatch: Chris Packham jokes about birds mating

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Springwatch presenter Chris Packham made a cheeky reference to the BBC licence fee today on the show. As the camera panned away from two birds copulating in the British countryside, Chris quipped that TV moments such as these are “why we pay the licence fee”.

Chris, 61, joined co-presenter Michaela Strachan, 56, on Springwatch this evening. 

The two BBC wildlife experts observed two birds mating in the wild, providing commentary before the camera panned back towards them. 

Once the moment had been captured, Chris joked: “At just after eight o’clock on BBC Two, you’ve got avian copulation.

“And that’s what you pay your licence fee for,” he added with a laugh.

Michaela chimed in: “No, I tell you what people pay their licence fee for is for you to do a bit of Strictly Come courting.”

The presenter went on to cheekily suggest that Chris should “pretend to be male” bird and make his way over to the female bird in a similarly bizarre fashion as was just shown. 

Taking to the idea, Chris decided to take Michaela up on the challenge. 

“Well hold on, first of all I’ve got to get my…” he began, hunching over comically. 

“So I slope along and I step into it like that,” he added, as he became suddenly rigid. 

“Then I go bug-eyed and I do my silly little steps like that,” Chris continued, as Michaela burst out into laughter.

“Did I impress you?” he asked Michaela as he made his way over to where she was standing with a large map. 

“No, not in the slightest,” Michaela confirmed, before Chris winkingly replied: “Good, because it wasn’t going to go any further than that – I wasn’t lifting my tail for any reason.”

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“Stay on that side of the map!” Michaela laughed, putting her hands out in front of her. 

Springwatch is back on our screens, as dozens of live cameras capture unpredictable British wildlife over three weeks.

Viewers can expect insights into the birth of wild badgers, the romance of cuttlefish and the habitat of the greater horseshoe bat.

Chris and Michaela have worked together since 1993 as co-hosts on CBBC’s The Really Wild Show.


Chris was enlisted as a Springwatch presenter in 2009 and was joined by Michaela two years later.

His stepdaughter, Megan McCubbin, 27, has hosted the show since 2020.

Chris and Michaela are at Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk, Megan is on a road trip across the North of England, while IoIo is back on the Isle of Mull.

Springwatch continues tomorrow at 8pm on BBC Two.

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