Axed 'Springwatch' presenter: white, old-aged men an endangered species on TV
Former Springwatch presenter Martin Hughes-Games claims he was axed from the show for being “white, middle class and old-aged”.
The 63-year-old boarding-school-educated, wildlife presenter spent 12 years co-hosting the BBC show alongside Michaela Strachan, 53, and Chris Packham, 58.
Hughes-Games told the Radio Times: “I think the commissioner’s a bit grumpy with me, because I’m white, middle-class, old-aged… who wants me on their show?
“I’m an endangered species. Let’s hope that conservation efforts keep me going, rather than going extinct.”
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He added there are “white, middle class, old-aged presenters who are actually quite good at their jobs”.
Hughes-Games will return to UK screens next week to present an ITV documentary, Counting Tigers: A Survival Special.
But he confessed he still finds it too painful to watch Springwatch as he misses working with his former colleagues. Strachan and Packham now present the show with biologist Gillian Burke and Welsh ornithologist Iolo Williams, 56.
Hughes-Games said: “I find it very, very difficult to watch. I do a bit, but I feel so close to them, both professionally and emotionally, that I often find myself adjusting the tappets on one of my old motorbikes or something rather than watching it, because it hurts.
“I do miss Chris and Michaela terribly. [We] had a lovely chemistry which was the most wonderful thing to be a part of. It was just great, it really was.
“My abiding memory is laughing an enormous amount with Chris and Michaela. Working with them on the programme was one of the happiest times that I ever had in 40 years in telly.”
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Strachan and Packham now co-present Springwatch with the biologist Gillian Burke.
Hughes-Games revealed that he spends a lot of time at home caring for his two-year-old son, Sam, but cannot resist sending ideas to the Springwatch team.
He explained: “I do think that because I’m at home, looking after Sam - which I love, but which is exhausting - and doing a lot of gardening and so on, my brain is quite idle. And, after 40 years in telly, and 30 years as a producer, you cannot stop putting your producer head on.”