Howie Watkins

Howie is best known for presenting BBC1’s Really Wild Show, a job which allowed him to, in his words ‘put off growing up’ for seven years and indulge his passion for wildlife; travelling around Britain and the World. Since the birth of his daughter, Amy, in 2005 he has accepted that he has to be a grown-up and has settled down to a quieter life in Oxfordshire, working for Oxfordshire County Council. Thankfully, it hasn’t stopped him getting out the frocks at Christmas time when pantomime calls.

Howie first got a taste for performing at school. A keen violinist and singer, he was a member of numerous choirs, orchestras and ensembles. He also sang opera professionally whilst at school. At university, Howie acted in, produced, and directed a number of student productions along with performing the odd bit of stand-up comedy. Howie's first journey into the world of pantomime was in 1997, playing Wishee Washee in Aladdin. Other panto roles have included the Queen's henchman in Snow White, an Ugly Sister in Cinderella and Dames in Snow White and Dick Whittington.

Howie is a classically trained Molecular Biologist who found, on graduating from Portsmouth Polytechnic, that the world was unprepared for a scientist quite like him. Undaunted, he went to live in a zoo, the Penscynor Wildlife Park in South Wales, where he spent four years as the Education Co-ordinator and was involved in everything from running captive breeding programmes for endangered species and public education projects, to giving impromptu talks at animal feeding times, handling animals and running drama sessions.

In addition to ‘The Really Wild Show’ Howie has filmed two series of ‘The Really Wild Guide to Britain’ for the Natural History Unit of the BBC. Other credits include: ‘Animal Planet Unleashed’ for the Discovery Channel, ‘The Essential Guide to Weather’, ‘The Countryside Hour’, ‘Science in Action’, ‘The Complete Guide to the Twentieth Century’ and ‘The Weather Show’ for the BBC, ‘Crazy Creatures’ for HTV-Wales and for Channel 4, ‘Stop, Look, Listen’.

Away from TV, Howie has developed a number of one-man shows including ‘Beastly Behaviour’, a two-hour live show for children (and their parents). Howie also writes features for magazines and has contributed to Birdlife, for young members of the RSPB and SciTech, a magazine aimed at teenagers with an interest in science.