BBC cancels popular wildlife show Autumnwatch after 17 years

The BBC announced it has cancelled its seasonal Autumnwatch programme after 17 years of the hit show being on our screens.

More money will instead be invested into its sister programmes, although Winterwatch will be back next year for only one week, reduced from two.

A statement from the broadcaster said: ‘These are challenging times financially and we need to make difficult decisions and focus our resources on content that has the highest impact.

‘Sadly, this means that Autumnwatch will not be continuing. Instead, we are investing more money into Springwatch and Winterwatch, as they are most popular with audiences.

‘We are incredibly proud of the Watches and would like to thank the presenters and production team who will continue on Springwatch when it returns in May for three weeks, and Winterwatch when it returns next year for one week, reduced from two weeks.’

The popular wildlife series followed changes in nature in autumn, tracking animals and plants in real time, with live streams available online for viewers get a closer look at nature.

The camera teams, joined by presenters including the likes of Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke, spread themselves throughout the UK, recording never-before-filmed animal behaviour and sharing incredible wildlife stories.

Springwatch first aired in 2005, with a then one-off special Autumnwatch following, before it became a full series in 2006. Winterwatch then began in 2012.

The news follows Chris announcing that he’s taking a much-needed TV break after feeling a bit ‘burnt out’.

Speaking in a new interview, the 61-year-old said that he wants to get ‘off the treadmill’ as he feels slightly ‘burnt out’, but jokingly stressed that he’s ‘not going to buy a Ferrari and run off with a 20-year-old’.

‘I’ve never taken three months off work. Never. I can barely sleep I am so excited. I might have to ban [partner] Charlotte [Corney] from the studio,’ he told The Mirror.

‘I don’t want any interference or disruption, I want to get on with it. It will be good to clear my head and focus on something completely different.’

Autumnwatch is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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