BBC Springwatch stars set for Royal Hall show in Harrogate

Two of the BBC’s most popular wildlife presenters are coming for an entertaining and informative show at the Royal Hall as part of  the fringe programme during Harrogate’s first Climate Action Festival, which takes place this October.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:16 pm
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:18 pm
Coming to Harrogate - Wildlife TV presenters Martin Hughes-Games and Iolo Williams.

Martin Hughes-Games and Iolo Williams will star in A Wildlife Road Trip on Sunday, October 17 in an event hosted by Cause UK, the Harrogate agency which specialises in ethical causes.

Martin said: “What’s going on in the natural world right now is not good, but unless people are made aware of it – hopefully in our case in an enjoyable and entertaining way – then nothing is going to change.

“We hope it will be a highly entertaining night out. Iolo and I will be talking about how we got into television, both from very different routes and rather odd ways!"

The duo say they are particularly keen to see children attend their family-friendly show, with the hope it will spark interest in the natural world.

Martin said: “Iolo and I are overjoyed when kids come to see our show, because we want to get them interested. David Attenborough’s always said if you get people interested, they’ll care more and that’s certainly true.”

Martin quit Springwatch in 2019, despite being reinstated in 2016.

Had he had enough of TV, or does he grieve those days?

“Absolutely both of those things. I felt I’ve been doing this just long enough. It was a bit like a see-saw banging down on one side. It felt time to go.

"But, saying that, I do miss it very, very much. I miss the excitement of it. It’s very exciting when you’re about to go live with 30 seconds to go.

"Chris Packham would always start to tell a joke just before we went live, which would drive me and Michaela mad as we were trying to remember what we’ve got to say, and he’s babbling on about some blasted joke,

Unlike his co-presenter Chris Packham, Martin seems to have a gentler approach to activism.

“I do it in my own way, nothing like Chris, I admire Chris hugely, he’s a close friend of mine.

!I feel guilty that I don’t do enough, because I’m so wrapped up in my five-year-old. I do try to support issues as much as I can - particularly battery farm chickens and the lunacy of the badger cull - on my Twitter account.

"I hope I’m helping a bit. But I don’t have the voice anymore, I’m not on the TV anymore I decided to leave that, so I don’t have the platform to make a major difference, but I do try to, locally.”

Cause UK have previously brought TV wildlife stars Chris Packham and Steve Backshall to the Royal Hall.

Clair Challenor-Chadwick, MD of Cause UK, said: “We have worked on many nature and wildlife projects over the years to help raise awareness of the importance, and the plight of, nature.

"Climate change is the biggest pressing issue of our time. The great outdoors is also vital for our own well-being.

"We hope bringing inspirational wildlife presenters to Harrogate can help engage and inspire.”

Tickets are available from www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/Wildlife-Roadtrip