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‘We are being cooked, choked...’ Chris Packham unleashes fury at Shell over record profits

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham has shared a furious tweet railing against Shell’s record profits as households around the country struggle to pay energy bills.

Shell has recorded the highest profit in its 115-year history, after benefiting from soaring oil prices driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Responding to the news on Thursday (2 February), Packham, whose show Autumnwatch has just been cancelled by the BBC in a bid to cut costs, posted an article about the energy company’s profits on Twitter.

“We are being cooked, choked and taken to the cleaners,” he wrote. “If we ever become anyone’s ancestors they will ask, ‘What the hell were those mugs doing? They stood by and let them burn the world.’”

Shell’s profits increased by 53 per cent to £68.1bn in 2022, while earnings adjusted for taxes doubled to £32.2bn.

The numbers have sparked outrage, as well as calls for Rishi Sunak’s government to expand the windfall tax on profits.

It has been noted that the £32.2bn figure is more than double the government’s entire budget for environment (£13.9bn).

Chris Packham on ‘Winterwatch’ (BBC)
Chris Packham on ‘Winterwatch’ (BBC)

Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and climate change campaigners argued that the government was letting fossil fuel companies “off the hook” by failing to impose a strong enough tax on the “proceeds of war”.

Meanwhile, this week it was announced that the BBC has axed Autumnwatch amid “challenging times financially”.

Hosted by Packham, Michaela Strachan, Gillian Burke, Autumnwatch arrived on the BBC in 2005.

It is part of the seasonal wildlife programming aired by the broadcaster, which also includes Winterwatch and Springwatch. The latter two shows will continue to air on the BBC.