Chris Packham: Autumnwatch host talks relationship with stepdaughter Megan ‘It’s hard’

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Chris Packham, 59, admitted growing up he never wanted children but became a dad “de facto” when he got together with his stepdaughter Megan McCubbin’s mother Jo, when she was just two-years-old. And although the couple are no longer together, the nature presenter is still a big part of Megan’s life.

You just have to accept that parents will always have that residual mollycoddling worry

Chris Packham

In a recent joint interview, the pair touched on their relationship with Chris confessing he will always care about her in a parental way.

“Do I still feel like a parent to her? It’s hard – she’s an adult, but she gets upset when Charlotte and I, or her mum and I, discuss her welfare,” he said, referring to his current partner Charlotte Corney.

“But I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. My parents were the same.”

“You just have to accept that parents will always have that residual mollycoddling worry,” he said.

“And that can’t be unhealthy.”

Despite not wanting children, Chris couldn’t help but sing Megan’s praises.

“A couple of friends had boys and they were unruly, so I think I was better suited to girls.

“I’d have been peed off with children bouncing off my furniture the whole time. But Megan sat on the sofa rather than jumping up and down on it.”

Chris explained he was a very eager dad when she was younger, constantly trying to get her into as many different hobbies and cultural interests as possible, such as castles, art galleries and the opera.

During lockdown, Megan was living with Chris as her mum is a nurse and they felt it would be safer for her to live elsewhere for the time being.

But the presenter confessed there was one thing they clashed over – making a mess of his kitchen.

“Why make pastry? You can buy it pre-made?” he queried rhetorically.

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“You get out the flour, you put it on the worktop and it goes everywhere – the floor, your clothes, the poodles.

“I’m not a mess-maker. Flour is the work of the devil.”

He explained they set boundaries that they each have their own space to co-habit and make it work, with Chris adamant Megan knows “how I need and want things”.

“I have religious protocols about doing things in a set way and order that achieves maximum efficiency.

Chris and Megan’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

“So she puts the scissors back in the drawer. That’s the main thing,” he joked.

Megan also branded Chris a “mentor” a “role model” of hers, revealing that after his split with her mum, nothing in their relationship changed.

“After my mum and Chris split, things didn’t really change. I still went over to his all the time – we’d watch films, go out and explore, and we travelled around the world a lot at that time,” she said in their joint interview with Radio Times.

“So the relationship dynamic was pretty much the same. If anything, we probably spent more time going out and doing things.”

Chris and Megan’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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