Martin Hughes-Games Springwatch – why was he sacked from BBC show?
Martin Hughes-Games returns to TV as co-host of Summer on the Farm Live on Channel 5 – but why was the presenter sacked from Springwatch?
Fans of the zoologist and wildlife expert were furious when he was axed from the BBC series in 2016.
But what has happened to him since?
Is he married, and how old is he?
Here’s everything you need to know about the wildlife TV presenter Martin Hughes-Games and why he left Springwatch.
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Who is Martin Hughes-Games?
Martin Hughes-Games is considered of the UK’s most popular and respected zoologists.
He’s appeared on Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, as well as Nature’s Miracle Babies.
Martin trained as a zoologist before joining the BBC science department.
He produced documentary films and TV series, before moving into presenting.
Martin admits to being an obsessive motorcyclist (after six years as a circuit racer), passionate climber and chicken lover!
In addition to presenting, producing and filming, Martin Hughes-Games has written an autobiographical account of his travels, entitled A Wild Life.
Martin Hughes-Games has also recently toured the country with Iolo Williams on A Wildlife Road Trip.
Why was he sacked from Springwatch?
Springwatch viewers will know Martin Hughes-Games best for co-hosting the show alongside Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.
He also presented BBC Two’s Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, too.
Martin joined the popular series in 2009.
However, in 2016, Martin Hughes-Games announced via Twitter he’d been sacked by the show.
The team behind the series wanted to replace Martin with female biologist Gillian Burke because they preferred a more ‘diverse’ team, according to Martin.
Audiences were up in arms at the revelation, and demanded he return.
At the time, Martin said: “I’m so grateful to people, there was such uproar about it.
“I went to see the then Head of Factual Television and he said, ‘I’ve had letters from very angry ladies.
“We’re going to re-instate you.’”
Re-instate him they did, but his role was changed rather than axed – he had less time in the studio, and more in the field.
Just 18 months later, Martin made the decision to quit Springwatch after 10 years on the show.
In 2019, he decided to ‘retire’ from TV presenting to concentrate on his family life.
He said in his resignation tweet: “It’s good to go when the show is looking strong. Massive thank you for your support.”
Around that time, Martin said: “I think the commissioner’s a bit grumpy with me, because I’m white, middle-class, old-aged…
“Who wants me on their show?”
He joked: “I’m an endangered species. Let’s hope that conservation efforts keep me going, rather than going extinct…”
Martin has admitted that he misses his co-presenters Chris and Michaela “terribly” and is still in regular contact with them.
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What is he doing now?
Martin says he doesn’t regret leaving Springwatch and retiring.
He told York Press: “Actually, for an awful lot of people I think, it’s a very disturbing time when you retire.
“It’s not at all what you think it’s going to be.
“But one of the reasons I did is I have Samson, my son, who is now five.
“That’s my job.
“My wife also works in television which is very demanding.
“So yes, it was very odd, very difficult stopping, but then I have the discipline and the routine of looking after a toddler in its place.”
Since leaving the ‘Watches’, Martin has toured, and appeared on episodes of Curious Creatures, Celebrity Mastermind, Christmas University Challenge, and When TV Animals Go Horribly Wrong.
In July 2022, he returns to live TV to co-host Summer on the Farm Live with Helen Skelton.
Does former Springwatch presenter Martin Hughes-Games have a wife?
Martin is married to Jo Avery, who works in TV as a wildlife filmmaker.
The producer and director has worked on Springwatch and Autumnwatch alongside her husband.
The couple tied the knot in May 2015, with a nod to Martin’s love of India…
He wore a sherwani during his wedding, which is worn by an Indian groom during the marriage.
Does he have children?
The pair have a young son, called Samson, who is five.
Martin has two other sons, one who is 30 and the other is 32.
In fact, he’s now a grandfather!
He recently revealed: “I know that I missed out on my sons growing up a lot because I was selfish.
“I was really driven by my work and I’d be away in India filming for four weeks as a producer.
“I am much more mellow now – I’m a much better dad that’s for sure.”
Martin, his wife Jo, and their son Samson live near Axbridge in Somerset.
How old is former Springwatch host Martin Hughes-Games?
Martin Hughes-Games was born on April 16 1956.
So he is currently 66 years of age.
What is it about wildlife presenters looking so young? (Michael Strachan is 56, Chris Packham is 61, while David Attenborough is a mind-blowing 96!)
We need some of that fresh air!
Summer on the Farm Live starts on Monday July 04 2022 at 8pm on Channel 5 and continues all week at the same time.
Would you like to see more of Martin Hughes-Games on the TV? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.