Chris Packham Inspires at Grill Lecture 2018

Whole School Events

Chris Packham, the BBC Springwatch presenter and wildlife expert, was the keynote speaker at Churcher’s College 2018 Grill Lecture inspiring the audience with his charismatic presenting style and passion for wildlife.   The 56-year-old, who appeared with his beloved poodle Scratchy, also spoke candidly about Asperger’s Syndrome and what it's like to experience the world in a very different way.

Chris is most widely known for his wildlife expertise on shows including The Really Wild Show and Springwatch, which has won him countless fans all over the world.   More recently his documentary Chris Packham:  Asperger’s and Me received the 2018 Broadcasting Press Guild Award for the best single documentary.

At Churcher’s College Chris met Sixth Formers for a private discussion and refreshments before speaking to the sell-out audience of over 800 people.   Introduced by Churcher’s College Headmaster, Simon Williams, Chris outlined his journey through life with Asperger’s and how he has learned to manage it.

Chris said: 'Ultimately I’ve been very fortunate to have been given a small voice, therefore I have a duty to use that voice, it is very difficult for people with Asperger's to articulate how they feel and the problems they have and I’m speaking up for everybody that didn’t have that voice.'

Chris also readily admitted that he finds it easier to interact with animals than humans while discussing canine companion Scratchy.  As well as his presenting and work with numerous conservation charities, Chris is dedicated to raising awareness of Asperger's.

After the fascinating talk and questions from the audience, Chris signed copies of his memoir ‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar’ which was voted Britain’s favourite piece of nature writing in an online poll organised by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.   Described by one voter as “the most powerful, honest account I’ve ever read about how nature can shape a person.” 

View a Flickr gallery of photos from the evening:

Chris Packham at 2018 Grill Lecture

The Grill Lecture

The Grill Lecture is an annual event and part of the Churcher’s College Academic Lecture Series. The Grill Lecture is named after Judy Grill who, as the hugely popular and successful Head of Religion and Philosophy at Churcher’s College, inspired discussion and debate amongst the students when she was here and continues to do so by inviting high profile and highly-regarded speakers to give the thought provoking Grill Lecture. Previous speakers have included Professor Lord Robert Winston, John McCarthy, Paddy Ashdown and Monty Halls.

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Chris Packham Inspires at Grill Lecture 2018