The One Show: Tom Hanks praises Springwatch
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Megan McCubbin stepped in for Gillian Burke last year when the presenter’s work commitments meant she was unable to join Winterwatch. Chris Packham’s stepdaughter returned on Monday alongside Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Chris for the brand new series of Springwatch. Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press, Megan and Chris spoke about the BBC show and the reaction to it from fans.
Discussing negative responses from viewers, Megan said: “Any kind of abuse is never in association with the show itself, it’s always external campaigns and various different things.
“The reaction that I get from Springwatch is one that is overwhelmingly positive and the audience has been so welcoming and so lovely and so kind about me joining the show.
“Obviously pronunciation, Irish names for me, that was the last series when I pronounced a few Irish towns wrong.
“But I am dyslexic so sometimes I struggle pronouncing words that I say all the time and I’ll just randomly say them wrong, especially if a word starts with the same letter.
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“So it’s always a learning process and you want to do names and towns justice, so I’m always conscious to do my best.”
Chris admitted he “makes mistakes” but praised the Springwatch audience for being a “part of the conversation”.
He said: “None of the abuse that I receive is a result of me being on Springwatch. The only abuse I get as a result of that is when I talk about kilometres and the rest of the country wants to talk about miles!
“But I get very little abuse as a result of the programme and when we get things wrong, actually, we take a vicarious pleasure in putting our hands up and saying, ‘I got that wrong.’”
“We don’t like to be the lecturing experts, we like to be part of the conversation with our audience,” Chris continued.
“So, as long as they are polite about it, and they invariably are, when we do occasionally make mistakes it is actually good because it keeps us on our toes.
“We don’t pretend to be perfect and we are always willing to acknowledge other peoples’ expertise in advance of our own.
“There is one thing I should have noted and that is our often dreadful mispronunciation of Scottish, Welsh and Irish districts.”
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“But we do our best, Michaela tries a lot harder than I do to say things like “loch”, but of course, we’ve got Iolo there and he always gets it right,” he shared.
“So at least one member of the team has the correct vernacular to satisfy the UK audience.”
Chris went on to detail the abuse he’s received as a result of him being an animal activist.
“The abuse that I get is all stuff that comes externally, but I see it as part of the process,” the naturalist said.
“I am asking people to change their minds and some people can be reluctant to change their minds, certainly quickly.
“So, if you are asking someone to radically rethink a way of thinking that they have held for a long period of time and they aren’t adaptable enough to do that, then occasionally they will lash out.
“I don’t see it going away, I see it as being a necessary part of the transformation that I am trying to steer people to so that we can live in a healthier, happier world for wildlife and people. I’ve just got to take it on the chin, and that is what I do.”
Springwatch continues on BBC Two on Tuesday at 8pm.
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