In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine back in June, Chris Packham's step-daughter Megan McCubbin reveals she's had a marriage proposal from a fan since she proved an overnight hit as a presenter on Springwatch.
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"I had this young man who contacted me to say that his older brother would like to marry me but is too afraid to message me directly," she laughs during our interview at her stepdad's beautiful home in the New Forest. "But if I'd like to message him, here's his account. I said: 'You're going to get in so much trouble but that's very sweet. I like the effort.'"
Chris, who was in a relationship with Megan's mother Jo McCubbin for ten years, says of Megan's Springwatch debut: "She did really well. I said to her: 'You figure out what you want to say and I'll fill in around you.' I don't need to own anything, I've got nothing to prove. I was there as a support mechanism, really, and wasn't needed.
Chris Packham posing with his dogs
'She believes in what she's got to say, she's excited by the science and committed to the environmental aspects of it."
The pair have been living at Chris's house during lockdown in 2020 as Jo is a nurse and felt it would be safer for Megan to live there. While there, they established the Self-Isolating Bird Club, a daily, 30-minute broadcast live-streamed from their garden on Facebook which caught the attention of Springwatch producers who suggested she join the show as a guest presenter.
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"I was slightly nervous, but I met Chris when I was two years old so have always grown up around film crews," says Megan, who has a degree in zoology from the University of Liverpool. "I was with my stepdad, and who better to learn from than him? He's a role model of mine professionally and it's great that he happens to be my stepdad as well."
Megan McCubbin has known Chris since she was two years old
With Megan's popularity growing, does Chris feel like he is achieving national treasure status? "Can old punk rockers become national treasures?" he laughs. "I don’t know. I’m still fighting hard against what I see as environmental injustices and I still have people who very much don’t like me because I’m trying to get them to change their mind more quickly than they would like. And that’s always going to be part and parcel of my life.
"I'd rather be comfortable at night knowing I have done my duty as an environmentalist than being called a national treasure."
In the interview, Megan also says she wouldn't rule out a turn on the Strictly dancefloor. "I grew up watching Strictly and have an absolute passion for dancing – I used to dance two or three times a week as a child – so I’d never say no to Strictly. I'm not sure I'd be any good, but it would be really good fun."
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