Did you see…?

Did you see Chris Packham’s programme on Asperger’s last night? Wow!

I spoke to Chris yesterday on the phone – for the first time for a couple of months – and I might see him briefly this evening.

I hope the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart MP, Nicholas Soames MP and others watched the programme too.

You can watch it on iPlayer here. It’s very powerful.

And then read Chris’s equally honest and even more powerful book.




26 Replies to “Did you see…?”

  1. It was remarkable, sometimes difficult to watch but at the same time I wanted to watch. A very laid bare Chris, I suppose there may will be those who find ammunition to attack him in it but that is because they are lesser men. For those of us that admire Chris and support his views and work it may add to that admiration, it will certainly not detract.

    1. Paul – agreed. the flak that Chris gets from the shooting industry including their tame MPs is exceptionally vitriolic and is unlikely to decrease I fear.

    2. Although it’s a novel, it’s a useful addition to this important film and Chris’s brave, real-time revelations:
      Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is a fabulous insight into Asperger’s Syndrome. The main character, 15 year old Christopher Boone, is a Packham-like thinker, observer and detective. The book is a must-read for anyone associated with, or interested in, this condition.

  2. I didn’t think I could admire the man any more than I already did, so much of the documentary resonates with me as a socially awkward type. He is an inspiration to all of us, for a multitude of reasons.

  3. A great candid and up close and personal programme in which Chris opened up about his autism.
    I doubt the vendetta against Chris from the the likes of Tim Bonner (and the pro hunt lobby) will wane but after what the programme did in raising awareness, will they (Bonner et al) continue to accusing him of using the BBC?

    Chris is an inspiration to many and one hopes the programme helps others to open up also.

  4. It was an incredibly brave and brutally honest programme, hard to watch but I am sure helpful to so many……we are lucky to have him!

  5. It was an incredible program, I have so much admiration for Chris and was overwhelmed at seeing him so sad. He is so brave to learn to cope, and I’m sure has inspired so many people with sharing his experience.

    1. Lisa – welcome to this blog and thanks for your comment. Well, Chris has inspired loads of naturalists and environmental campaigners with his passion for wildlife and determination to make a difference. He sometimes says that it’s his difference that helps him make a difference.

  6. I woke up in a good mood this morning, largely as a result of the brave and inspirational Chris Packham documentary last night. Things have only got better from reading the comments here and also the preceding blog by Mark about his evening in London.
    I often need to be reminded that there are honest, generous people in this country, capable of showing respect, kindness and empathy towards other inhabitants of this troubled world, human and non-human. Chris and Mark are shining examples, and perfect antidotes to the viciousness and mean-mindedness we see so much of. No doubt the hunters and shooters will have their nasty little knives out as usual…

  7. Chris has been involved in a lot of very good natural history programmes, this one on the natural history of Chris Packham was remarkable. Honest and laid bare it was a most courageous project with just so much for all of us to take away. Truly it is only someone like Chris who could set out and achieve this and it complements the courage, integrity and inspiration with which he tackles the other thorny issues like Malta, Cyprus and DGS. Fascinating to dwell on the elements of Chris’s nature in all of us, non of us a normal.
    So thanks Chris, and please buy him a pint when you see him Mark, we treasure him.

  8. I have no doubt that the ‘thumbs down’ dislikes on this particular blog come from members of the Facebook group ‘Countryside Against Chris Packham’ – a group for the terminally ignorant to vent their vitriol against Chris. I look forward to receiving my thumbs downs.

  9. What a superb programme, actually very positive and excellent that it refuted autism was an illness, but more of a difference that we as a society need. Especially touching was the end where we saw Chris with his stepdaughter Megan. Chris P is worth a hundred Bonners, Bayneses or Bothams.

  10. WOW indeed!

    An exceptional documentary by Chris, a brave, heart wrenching at times, and honest insight into his personal life and how he copes with his Aspergers.
    Afterwards I found myself just staring at the screen, I tweeted to Chris ‘thank you’ as I couldn’t think of anything else, just taking in all that I had just seen and heard.

    Great admiration for the man ( I had that anyway!). As he said, people might think him weird, I just see him as Chris Packham, doing the things he does best. I do now though, appreciate more what he goes through on a daily basis, and can only wish him well in all he does.

    Again Chris, Thank You – RESPECT

  11. Very brave and honest documentary that will be a great inspiration to all on the autistic spectrum. I am reading his book to find out what happened to the kestrel!

  12. Loved it. In my working life I have seen a growing emphasis on correct ‘corporate behaviours’ (a phrase that has always set my teeth on edge) and less tolerance of the eccentric or the different. Conversely, a lot of the people I have learnt the most from and found most inspirational have been considered by many to be at least troublesome or a bit odd. Chris is so right that we should treasure people’s differences and find ways of making best use of their skills.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Up until recently I had a line manager who was, and probably still is, obsessed with applying corporate behaviours. Anyone that didn’t comply was seen as a trouble-maker and targeted by this individual. Needless to say this individual’s team is unhappy and many have left.

  13. Interesting that the “thumbs downers” are not prepared to leave a comment justifying their negative reaction. The programme was remarkable as is the man and did so much good for people having to cope with this condition. Autism affects members of the shooting community too.

    1. You’re right about the ‘thumbs down’ lot not being able to leave comments Peter, there are certainly quite a few in the comments here, but nothing to say why. Chris P’s detractors have it wrong, it’s the BBC which uses his talents as a platform for their programs not the other way round which is why he is also taken seriously at a personal level on his own account. Of course the constant mud slinging he gets is just ‘the politics of envy’ – look who the opposition have got to represent their views – a shower of unintentional clowns who just make our position stronger every time they open their gobs.

  14. Chris Packham is truly outstanding. And a bit weird. SeasonWatch is, I find, alternately awkward and absolutely stunning. But it has also done a huge amount to raise awareness of our environment. You have to be driven, and Chris’ drive comes from his personality: he is right that being wired ‘differently’ has enabled him to make a difference to others. I expect this programme will also help in a wider understanding of some aspects of autism. I wish I could understand why some people can see beauty and wonder in the mysteries of (wild)life, while others just see an opportunity to destroy and inflict pain. The latter, I think, must already be dead inside a part of themselves: they don’t even eat what they eagerly kill. But what happened to Sniffy? Chris will have to get another Scratchy when the time comes… Cycle of life… New focus… New hope, and new love… Notice that Monty Don has a younger Nelly to follow Nigel…

  15. Mark, not watching much telly, we would have missed this one had it not been for your mention yesterday, so thank you. We watched it last night and it was hard and beautiful.
    Thank god for people like Chris and Dara. Autism, although clearly an awkwardness to Chris at times, is a gift to us all.
    There was a time when lefthanders were treated in the same way.
    Can you believe the backwardness of the American people sometimes?

  16. Thanks for the link, Mark.
    I only wanted to watch briefly because of other things to do.
    Impossible. The film was gripping despite being uncomfortably humbling.
    Chris came across as completely genuine; never once did he appear to play to the camera. His stories are piquant, poignant and painful. They are empowering.

  17. I have a family member with autism so know the issues this causes; Chris is an amazing inspiration to all of us who are emotionally interested in the natural world; Mr. Bonner and his mates are missing out big time

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