Bill Oddie is one of the most well known and multi talented showbiz personalities, in the country. Bill’s popularity continues to increase with every TV series, radio broadcast, book, stage or public appearance. There are not enough ‘Oddie’s’ to go round, because his unique appeal makes him constantly in high demand.
Bill Oddie: Early Days
Born in Rochdale in 1941, Bill was brought up mostly in Birmingham. He was educated at: Lapal Primary School, Halesowen Grammar School, King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Pembroke College, Cambridge; where 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.
That Was The Week That Was
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; because he went into showbiz. Here he has been ever since; trying to decide what he wants to do when, and if, he finally grows up.
Bill & The Goodies
Through the 1970’s and early 80’s, Bill was best known to TV viewers as 1/3 of “The Goodies”; an off beat comedy series, that ran for over ten years and won many international accolades.
In recent years, Bill has promoted his lifetime passion for birds. He has therefore written several books on the subject; including “Bill Oddie’s Little Black Bird Book” and “Bird Watching with Bill Oddie”.
Bill Oddie: Wildlife TV
Bill’s art of relating to people, is most brilliantly evident in his presentation of wildlife programmes for TV; including: ‘Wild Weekends’ for TV AM, ‘The Bird Business’, ‘The Big Bird Race’ for Channel 4; ‘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 the ecological programme for young people ‘Ask Oddie’ (HTV). He is known to American birders, as the host of the popular video game ‘Gone Birding’; and as presenter of RSPB’s ‘For the Birds’.
Going Wild With Springwatch
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’, came ‘Bill Oddie Goes Wild’; and in recent years, the much acclaimed and successful ‘Springwatch’ and ‘Autumnwatch’. Bill Oddie’s other TV programmes include; ‘Star Portraits’, ‘8 out of 10 Cats’, ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ and ‘Grumpy Old New Year’.
Bill Oddie: Conservationist
Because of his love of nature, Bill is an active conservationist; a past and present council member of the RSPB, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and The Worldwide Fund for Nature. He is president of The Northumberland Wildlife Trust and represents such organisations as; Birdlife International, Friends of the Earth, Plantlife and The Wildlife Trusts.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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