Who is Chris Packham's famous sister? Find out about star's early life

Chris Packham on Springwatch
Chris Packham on Springwatch (Jo Charlesworth,BBC)

Chris Packham is back on our screens on Wednesday night in his new Channel 4 documentary, Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law?, which sees the naturalist question whether it's ethically reasonable to break the law to protest against government policies on climate change.

The 62-year-old natural history expert is a regular fixture on our screens thanks to his presenting role on the BBC nature series Springwatch, as well as his appearances on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside his stepdaughter, Megan McCubbin. But did you know he's not the only famous face in his family?

Who is Chris Packham?

Chris Packham is a naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author.

He got his first big break in 1986 when he landed a presenting gig on the BBC One children's programme, The Really Wild Show, which went on to win three BAFTAs before coming to an end in 1995.

Chris Packham
Chris Packham is a presenter and naturalist (BBC)

Since then, he has appeared on various nature programmes and is perhaps best recognised for his work on BBC Two's Springwatch. 

Alongside his TV career, Chris has done a huge amount of work for many wildlife, conservation and environmental charities, and is the president, vice president, or patron of various organisations. He acts as vice president for the RSPCA and RSPB and has been the president of The Bat Conservation Trust since 2006.

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In 2018, the presenter received an honorary doctorate from Royal Holloway, University of London, for his outstanding services to wildlife conservation, and the following year was awarded a CBE by the Queen in her 2019 New Year Honours list.

Who is Chris Packham's sister?

Chris Packham's sister is the fashion designer Jenny Packham.

Jenny, 58, attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design before launching her own label back in 1988, which mainly features ready-to-wear and bridal collections.

Jenny Packham attends the World Premiere of "Bridgerton" Season 2 at The Tate Modern on March 22, 2022
Jenny Packham is a respected fashion designer (David M. Benett)

Her designs are regularly selected by high-profile figures, including the Princess of Wales, who has worn many of Jenny's dresses. Jenny was the brains behind the ensemble that Princess Kate wore to the Olympic Gala Concert at the Albert Hall in 2012, as well as the gold gown that the royal donned at the premiere of the James Bond film No Time to Die in 2021.

MORE: Meet Springwatch star Chris Packham's family

READ: Chris Packham and stepdaughter Megan's real-life relationship

Other celebrities who have worn Jenny's dresses include Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Millie Bobby Brown, Taylor Swift, Blake Lively and Sandra Bullock.

kate middleton james bond
Jenny Packham designed the dress Princess Kate wore to the No Time to Die premiere

Jenny's work can also be seen on the silver screen, including in the James Bond films Die Another Day and Casino Royale, and on the TV shows Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.

Like her brother, Jenny is clearly passionate about the environment and is dedicated to creating sustainable, responsible fashion. According to her website, the designer "strives to reduce her brand's environmental impact, incorporating ethically sourced materials where possible and promoting fair trade practices".

Chris Packham and Jenny Packham at the Jenny Packham x Dita Von Teese Dinner at The Connaught, London in 2018
Chris Packham and his sister Jenny Packham at the Jenny Packham x Dita Von Teese Dinner at The Connaught, London in 2018 (Richard Young/Shutterstock)

Chris Packham's early life

Chris was born in Southampton in 1961 to parents Rita and Colin Packham.

He was educated at Bitterne Park Secondary School and then Taunton's College before going on to achieve a degree in Zoology at the University of Southampton.

Chris Packham with his step-daughter, Megan McCubbin
Chris Packham with his stepdaughter, Megan McCubbin (Jack Tunnicliffe)

Earlier this year, Chris opened up about being bullied at school and said that he's scarred by the experience. "It was devastating," he told The Mirror. "It leaves a scar that lasts for a lifetime. I have a visual memory of some of the most horrific things that other young people said to me when I was a kid and they still hurt me now. They’ve tattooed something unpleasant in my psyche."