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Chris Packham: Forever Punk

Chris Packham reveals how punk rock not only may have saved his life as a teenager but how it has given it meaning and informed everything he has done ever since.

Chris Packham, environmentalist and life-long punk, reveals how, as a teenager with undiagnosed Asperger's, punk rock may have saved his life. By giving him a purpose, he was able to harness his creativity, which led to him becoming a TV presenter with a determination to champion wildlife.

Now more than 40 years on, as Chris goes to Buckingham Palace to receive a CBE for services to the environment, he asks himself if he has, over the years, turned into the type of 'establishment figure' that his 17-year-old self would have hated?

In a highly personal and revelatory film, Chris sets out to question both himself and other former punks who, like him, rocked against racism, fought for gay rights and caused their parents untold grief, to discover if the values they all believed in still hold true today.

Chris meets some of the legends at the heart of the movement, including punk icon Jordan Mooney who was known as punk's first muse, artist Jamie Reid who designed the Sex Pistols' record covers, The Clash's first drummer and now chiropractor Terry Chimes, chart-topping vicar Rev Richard Coles and gay rights campaigner and Radio 6 DJ Tom Robinson.

He also meets Joe Talbot, lead singer of indie band Idles at the famous punk venue the 100 Club and even hooks up with his own punk band, The Titanic Survivors, who he left in 1978. They have since reformed and are still playing some of the songs that Chris wrote.

Chris concludes that the spirit of punk perhaps lives on not just in the music but in the rebellious spirit of the young and is still at the heart of many modern-day protests.

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 11 Jan 2020 01:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    Sex Pistols

    God Save The Queen

  • 00:03

    The Damned

    New Rose

  • 00:04

    Sex Pistols

    Anarchy In The U.K.

  • 00:06

    The Stranglers

    Something Better Change

  • 00:09

    The Clash

    White Riot

  • 00:29

    Tom Robinson Band

    Glad To Be Gay (1978)

  • 00:33

    The Clash

    London's Burning (Live)

  • 00:41


    Blitzkrieg Bop

  • 00:50


    Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)

  • 00:58

    Sex Pistols

    God Save The Queen


Role Contributor
Presenter Chris Packham
Interviewed Guest Richard Coles
Interviewed Guest Graham McGregor
Interviewed Guest Megan McCubbin
Interviewed Guest Jordan Mooney
Interviewed Guest Jenny Packham
Interviewed Guest Nick Petford
Interviewed Guest Jamie Reid
Director Adrian Sibley
Production Company Factory 42