Childish Chiles: ASBO Swan Chased By BBC

Shocking footage has emerged showing a BBC film crew from The One Show cruelly provoking the ASBO swan.

animal communicator asbo swan michelle childerly river cam

Shocking footage emerged yesterday showing a BBC film crew creully provoking the ASBO swan.

"Swan Whisperer", Michelle Childerley, who stepped in and had a word with the vicious swan last week, filmed the crew from 'The One Show' CHASING the swan 200ft up the river.

A team from The One Show were dispatched to the River Cam in Cambridge on Friday to capture the notorious swan.


However, it seems Mr ASBO is camera-shy as he remained uncharacteristically calm in front of the BBC's boat.

Not happy to leave without some footage, the film crew then hired a canoe from Granta Punts and decided to ransack the swan's nest.

When this failed to provoke a reaction, horrified onlookers looked on as a pair of men pursued the swan up the river as he fled the scene. Footage then shows the green canoe returning and coming within yards of the nest, provoking the frightened mother swan into an angry attack as she defended her eggs.

The BBC film crew, armed with crash helmets, then finally succeeded in getting Mr Asbo to attack a rower's oar.

The resulting ''anti-social behaviour" caught by the BBC was screened on The One Show on Monday at 7pm as primetime entertainment.

Presenter Adrian Chiles promised millions of viewers the swan was not provoked. He said: ''Just so you know we didn't provoke that swan.

''Everything we filmed was from the opposite bank from the swan's nest and when the swan got close to us we're not daft we retreated alright – so we weren't complicit there at all.

''No swans were harmed in the making of that film.''

But shocked Mrs Childerley claims she heard the film crew call out to the canoeists: ''Not getting much reaction out of him are we.''

She said: ''They then asked the canoeists to go close to see what response they could get.  It was disgraceful – car crash TV at its worst.

''We called to their wildlife expert and said what he was allowing was wrong. He just asked if we knew he had been working with wildlife, and he said he knew what he was doing.

RSPB spokesman Andre Farrar added: ''We have been saying for a while now that when you have a pair of nesting swans it is inadvisable to go near them. It is not a good idea to provoke swans.

''Clearly the BBC will need to provide a justification for why they did this.''

However a BBC spokewoman denied goading Mr Asbo:

''Mike Dilger, an experienced and well-respected wildlife presenter, and The One Show team would never put any wildlife at risk.

''The team took care not to cause any unnecessary stress to the swans in this item.''

A canoe hired by the BBC to observe the swans was attacked when it came towards the bank, the spokeswoman added.

She claimed: ''The canoe was approaching the bank to get out onto dry land – still a safe distance away from the swan when it unexpectedly approached the canoe.

''The team did observe the swan going for other rowing boats and crews on the river as it is reported to do so on a regular basis.''

"Swan Whisperer" Childerley hoped to calm the swan by more pacifist means last week.

Childerley, who recently appeared on Sky TV’s Pet Nation, claimed that she had been “talking to the swan him through his photograph to create a communication link.

“My recommendation to him is that he migrates to somewhere outside the city.

“He’s not really flavour of the month round here. He needed to be told what people were saying about him – and it hasn’t been good”.

She’s convinced that her quick chat has already helped to rid the swan of his violent tendencies.

“Before I got there I used a technique called the balance procedure with him and the change was remarkable.

“When I was communicating telepathically first of all he portrayed a feeling of fear and being quite angry with humans.

“A lot relates to his cygnets being killed last year. He also gave me an image of a rower with a boater on and sunglasses and the words Gonville and Caius.

“He is not agreeing to leave because this is his environment and he feels he is where he’s meant to be – but he is now much calmer.

''Shame on you BBC.''