Who is Gillian Burke? Winterwatch presenter, biologist and filmmaker – The Sun

GILLIAN Burke has been a regular host on BBC show Springwatch since 2017.

As Winterwatch 2021 returns for another series, let's take a closer look at the presenter's life and career so far.

Who is Gillian Burke?

Gillian Burke is a TV presenter, biologist and filmmaker.

She was born in Kenya, Africa, and moved to Vienna, Austria, as a child.

Her mother worked for the United Nations in Nairobi on environmental projects and conservation.

Burke studied biology at Bristol University, and worked as a researcher for the BBC's Natural History Unit.

She now lives in Cornwall with her two children.

What TV shows has Gillian Burke been on?

In 2017, Burke became a presenter on BBC show, Springwatch, a role which she currently holds.

She presents alongside Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Iolo Williams and Packham's stepdaughter Megan McCubbin.

She has also been a producer and director on several series of the TV show, Animal Planet.

Burke is also a voice-over artist, and has worked on the Discovery Channel.

Why was Gillian Burke’s Springwatch appointment controversial?

In September 2016, Springwatch presenter Martin Hughes-Games claimed that he had been axed from the show because he is white and middle-class and the BBC wanted more diversity among its presenters.

It then emerged that Burke would be joining the team full-time but then the BBC, who denied Hughes-Games claims, said he would be back for Autumnwatch in October.

But Burke said she was “horrified” when she was accused of breaking up the Springwatch team and told Radio Times: "A friend texted me one Monday morning saying I was in the papers. Can you imagine the horror for me of apparently busting into the party and being blamed for breaking it up?

"I can totally understand why people would want to know where I've come from; the perception is that I've just shown up. But I've been doing this a long time.”

Winterwatch is on BBC Two TONIGHT (January 20) at 8pm. 

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