Birdwatcher, broadcaster, actor, presenter, writer, song-writer, musician (almost), conservationist and much more.
Bill Oddie is one of the most well-known and multi-talented show-biz personalities ever produced by this country. His popularity continues to increase with every television series, radio broadcast, book, stage and public appearance. There are not enough “Bills” to go round and his unique appeal makes him constantly in high demand.
Bill Oddie was born in Rochdale in 1941, and brought up largely inBirmingham. He was educated atLapalPrimary School,HalesowenGrammar School, King Edward’s School,BirminghamandPembrokeCollege,Cambridgewhere he gained an M.A. in English Literature.
Appearance in several Cambridge Footlights productions, with cast members including John Cleese, Tim Brooke Taylor, Graham Chapman and Jonathan Lynn, lead to the production ‘Cambridge Circus’ transferring to the West End and Broadway, where, much to his bewilderment, Bill received rave reviews. Whilst still at university, Bill wrote scripts for BBC TV’s ‘That Was The Week That Was’ and, on leaving Cambridge, gave up plans to become either an English teacher or the Warden of a Bird Observatory and went into showbiz, where he has been ever since, trying to decide what he wants to do when – and if – he finally grows up. He plays various sports; also drums, percussion and saxophone and lots of CDs and tapes.
Bill Oddie – One Third of “The Goodies”
Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Bill was best known to television viewers as one third of ‘The Goodies’, an off-beat comedy series that ran for over ten years and won many international accolades, including two Silver Roses of Montreux and an EMMY nomination. Two compilations of the shows are available on video and DVDs are imminent. Bill also co-wrote the scripts and was responsible for several record albums and half a dozen British top ten hits, including ‘The Funky Gibbon’ and ‘The Inbetweenies’, both of which became ‘silver discs’. He has also co-written literally hundreds of hours of radio and television comedy, as well as starring in childrens’ comedy/drama TV series. He has also presented a large number of TV, radio and video programmes on a wide variety of topics. His stage appearances have ranged from rock concerts and pantomime to playing Koko in ‘The Mikado’ for the English National Opera and his one-man show ‘Follow that bird’.
Bill’s art of relating to people is most brilliantly evident in his presentation of wildlife programmes for television, including ‘Wild Weekends’ (for TV AM) ‘The Bird Business’ and ‘The Big Bird Race’ (for Channel 4): and ‘Oddie In Paradise’ (Papua New Guinea), ‘The Great Kenyan Bird Safari’, and two series of the immensely popular ‘Bird In The Nest’, all for BBC TV. Also two series of ecological programmes for young people ‘Ask Oddie’ (HTV). He is known to American birders as the co-host of the popular video game ‘Gone Birding’, and as presenter of RSPB’s ‘For the Birds’.
Bill Oddie’s Wildlife Television Programmes for the BBC
Much of Bill’s time is taken up with filming his wildlife programmes for BBC TV. After the success of three series of ‘Birding With Bill Oddie’, ‘Bill Oddie Goes Wild’ and the highly-acclaimed and successful ‘Springwatch’, ‘Springwatch Christmas Special’, ‘Autumnwatch’ and ‘USA Revisited’.