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Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting – BBC2

Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting
(Image credit: BBC/Curious films)

Chris Packham on why he hopes his latest series – Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting on BBC2 – will start a very important conversation

We’ve got to look after this place, there is no planet B,’ says a troubled Chris Packham in his new BBC2 documentary Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting.

He asks tough questions about our planet’s ability to sustain its population – the UN predicts by 2050 there could be 10 billion of us.

He travels to São Paulo in Brazil, a city running out of water, chats to Sir David Attenborough about the destruction of the natural world, visits Nigeria, set to be the world’s third most populated country in 30 years’ time, and meets a Liverpool couple trying to have a baby through IVF.

The issues are complex, but there’s no one better to start this conversation than Chris.

Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting

Chris visits Lagos in Nigeria in Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting on BBC2

Here Chris, 58, tells us more and explains why he thinks this is now the most urgent issue we face…

Why was making Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting so important to you?

We’re living in an age where we’re being confronted by some pretty stark realities.

Everyone in the UK is now well aware of climate change but population growth is the elephant in the room.

The fact is, we’ve only got a limited amount of resources and our planet isn’t getting any bigger.

We’re exploiting it too rapidly in an unsustainable way.

Which countries have the most rapid population growth?

Nigeria is the most rapid and in the programme we visit its largest city, Lagos.

However, what’s really important to understand is when it comes to population there’s a tendency to point the finger at sub-Saharan African countries with large families of children, but in fact it’s us here in developed countries who are the biggest threat to the planet because we are the biggest consumers.

It’s consumption that is inextricably linked to climate change and biodiversity loss.

You chat to Sir David Attenborough, who, like you, is a patron of the charity Population Matters... 

In my lifetime the human population has doubled; in Sir David’s it has trebled!

Both of us are motivated by a great love and passion for things that live and when that’s disappearing around you and you’re getting older, there’s a sense of urgency to do something about it and to start conversations.

For full listings, see our TV Guide.

TV Times rating: *****