Chris Packham, environmentalist and life-long punk, reveals how, as a teenager with undiagnosed Asperger’s, punk rock may have saved his life. Punk gave him a purpose and helped him to harness his creativity, which led him to be 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 and are still as relevant.
Chris meets some of the legends at the heart of the movement, like punk icon Jordan, 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, now Radio 6 Music DJ, Tom Robinson.
He also meet Joe Talbot, the 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, whom he left in 1978, and have reformed, 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.
Forever Punk – Friday at 9.30pm on BBC 4.