|Height:||161 cm (5' 4'')|
|Birth Day:||July 7, 1941|
|Height:||161 cm (5' 4'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He attended Pembroke College, where he studied English Literature. His first television appearance was in Bernard Braden's On The Braden Beat in 1964 and he soon became a performer in the BBC radio series I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again.
Oddie's first published work was an article about the birdlife of Birmingham's Bartley Reservoir in the West Midland Bird Club's 1962 Annual Report (he is first credited in the 1956 report, in which reports of his bird observations are tagged with his initials "WEO"). He has since written a number of books about birds and birdwatching, as well as articles for many specialist publications including British Birds, Birdwatching Magazine and Birdwatch.
While at Cambridge University Oddie appeared in several Footlights Club productions. One of these, a revue called A Clump of Plinths, was so successful at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that it was renamed Cambridge Circus and transferred to the West End in London, then New Zealand and Broadway in September 1964. Meanwhile, still at Cambridge, Oddie wrote scripts for and appeared briefly in TV's That Was the Week That Was.
He appeared in Bernard Braden's television series On The Braden Beat in 1964. Subsequently, he was a key member of the performers in the BBC radio series I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, where many of his musical compositions were featured. Some were released on the album Distinctly Oddie (Polydor, 1967). He was one of the first performers to parody a rock song, arranging the traditional Yorkshire folk song "On Ilkla Moor Baht'at" in the style of Joe Cocker's hit rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" (released on John Peel's Dandelion Records in 1970 and featured in Peel's special box of most-treasured singles), and singing "Andy Pandy" in the style of a brassy soul number such as Wilson Pickett or Geno Washington might perform. In many shows he would do short impressions of Hughie Green.
Oddie appeared as the hapless window cleaner in the Eric Sykes' comedy story The Plank in 1967. He also presented the live children's Saturday morning entertainment show Saturday Banana (ITV/Southern Television) during the late 1970s. In the late 1980s he was a presenter of the BBC TV show Fax (a show about 'facts').
In 1967, Oddie married Jean Hart, and from this marriage he has two daughters, one of whom is the actor Kate Hardie.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Oddie released a number of singles and at least one album. One of the former, issued in 1970 on John Peel's Dandelion Records label (Catalogue No: 4786), was "On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at", performed in the style of Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from my Friends". The B-side, "Harry Krishna", featured the Hare Krishna chant, substituting the names of contemporary famous people called Harry, including Harry Secombe, Harry Worth, Harry Lauder, and Harry Corbett, as well as puns such as "Harry [Hurry] along now", "Harrystotle [Aristotle]" and ending with "Harry-ly [I really] must go now". Both tracks appear on the compilation CD Life Too, Has Surface Noise: The Complete Dandelion Records Singles Collection 1969–1972 (2007). In 1966, he was credited as the vocalist with Spencer's Washboard Kings on "Five Feet Two" (Rayrick LCR1001a). The vocalist on the B-side of this 45rpm single, "If You Knew Susie", was Jean Hart, Oddie's future wife.
He played the drums and saxophone and appeared as Cousin Kevin in a production of The Who's rock opera Tommy at the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London, on 9 December 1972. He has also contributed vocals to a Rick Wakeman album, Criminal Record.
One of Oddie's first forays in the world of television natural history was as a guest on Animal Magic in December 1977. Another early natural history radio appearance was in October, as the guest on Radio 4's Through My Window, discussing the birds of Hampstead Heath.
In 1981, he appeared as a Telethon celebrity in New Zealand, hosted by TV1. He voices Asterix in the UK dub of the 1989 animated film Asterix and the Big Fight (an animated adaptation of the books Asterix and the Big Fight and Asterix and the Soothsayer, novelized as Operation Getafix).
In the Amnesty International show A Poke in the Eye (With a Sharp Stick), Oddie, Brooke-Taylor and Garden sang their hit song "Funky Gibbon". They also appeared on Top of the Pops with the song. Together with Garden (who is a qualified doctor), Oddie co-wrote many episodes of the television comedy series Doctor in the House, including most of the first season and all of the second season. He has occasionally appeared on the BBC Radio 4 panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, on which Garden is and Brooke-Taylor was a regular panellist. In 1982 Garden and Oddie wrote, but did not perform in, a six-part science fiction sitcom called Astronauts for Central and ITV. The show was set in an international space station in the near future.
Oddie, Brooke-Taylor and Garden voiced characters on the 1983 animated children's programme Bananaman.
In 1983, Oddie married Laura Beaumont-Giles. The couple have worked on a variety of projects for children, including film scripts, drama and comedy series, puppet shows and books. They have a daughter, Rosie, born in October 1985, and live in Hampstead, North London. Rosie Oddie is a musician, also using the name Rosie Bones.
On 30 July 1985, he was the subject of a 50-minute Nature Watch Special: Bill Oddie – Bird Watcher, in which he was interviewed by Julian Pettifer at places where he had spent time birding, including Bartley Reservoir, the Christopher Cadbury Wetland Reserve at Upton Warren, RSPB Titchwell Marsh and Blakeney Point.
In the 1990s, he became better known as a presenter of birdwatching, and later wildlife-related, programmes such as Springwatch. Although he remains almost unknown to US audiences, in 1992 he was a guest star in the US comedy television series Married... with Children for a three-part episode set in England.
He became president of the West Midland Bird Club in 1999, having been Vice-President since 1991, and is a former member of the council of the RSPB. Oddie is also a President of the League Against Cruel Sports and a vice-president of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. He practised as a bird ringer, but allowed his licence to lapse.
Oddie experienced depression for most of his life before being diagnosed with clinical depression in 2001. In March 2009 he was reportedly admitted to Capio Nightingale psychiatric hospital in Marylebone for treatment. His then-agent David Foster said: "Bill gets these bouts every two or three years where he gets down for about two weeks and recovers. He sometimes goes into hospital or takes a break or has a change of scenery to recharge his batteries." In January 2010 Oddie spoke to the media, revealing that he had in fact had two separate stays in different hospitals, only being discharged "in time for Christmas". He said that he was dealing with depression and bipolar disorder, describing the period as "probably the worst 12 months of my life". Oddie stated that he was planning to meet with BBC executives to discuss his return to television work.
In 2001, Oddie became the third person to decline to appear on This Is Your Life. He changed his mind a few hours later and agreed to appear on the show. On 16 October 2003, Oddie was made an OBE for his service to Wildlife Conservation in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. He wore a camouflage shirt and crumpled jacket to receive his medal. In June 2004, Oddie and Johnny Morris were jointly profiled in the first of a three part BBC Two series, The Way We Went Wild, about television wildlife presenters. In May 2005, he received the British Naturalists' Association's Peter Scott Memorial Award, from BNA president David Bellamy, "in recognition of his great contribution to our understanding of natural history and conservation." He is a recipient of the RSPB Medal.
In 2003 Oddie set up a half-marathon to raise money for various wildlife charities in his birth-town of Rochdale. Celebrities who have participated in the event include Ray Mears, Catherine Jenkins and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
On its first evening of broadcast in 2004, Britain Goes Wild set a record for its timeslot of 8 pm on BBC Two of 3.4 million viewers, one million more than the Channel 4 programme showing at that time. Britain Goes Wild, renamed Springwatch the following year, became a wildlife broadcasting phenomenon, attracting up to 5 million viewers.
He was the compère of a daytime BBC gameshow History Hunt (in 2003); and has appeared in the Doctor Who audio drama Doctor Who and the Pirates. In 2004, he appeared in the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are?, in which he looked into his ancestry – he was visibly moved by its revelations. His story, in fact, was that long-running series' very first episode. In 2005, he took part in Rolf on Art – the big event at Trafalgar Square and in September that year was also a celebrity guest along with Lynda Bellingham on the ITV1 programme Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He also gave opinions on 100 greatest cartoons on Channel 4 that year, talking about Tom and Jerry and cartoon incidents such as the "Asses of Fire skit" in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.
Oddie, Brooke-Taylor and Garden then co-wrote and appeared in their television comedy series The Goodies (1970–1982). The Goodies also released records, including "Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me"/"The In-Betweenies", "Funky Gibbon", and "Black Pudding Bertha", which were hit singles in 1974–75. They reformed, briefly, in 2005, for a successful 13-date tour of Australia.
In 2006, Oddie appeared in the BBC show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and also appeared on the topical quiz show 8 out of 10 Cats. He was also the voice behind many B&Q adverts throughout 2006/2007. On 25 May 2007, Oddie made a cameo appearance on Ronni Ancona's new comedy sketch show, Ronni Ancona & Co.
In 2007, Oddie appeared on the BBC series Play It Again. In the episode he attempts to realise his dream of becoming a rock guitarist. Initially teacher Bridget Mermikides tries to teach him using traditional methods but he rebels: instead he turns to old friends Albert Lee, Dave Davies (of The Kinks) and Mark Knopfler for advice and strikes out on his own. He succeeds in the target of playing lead guitar for his daughter Rosie's band at her 21st birthday party, and even manages to impress his erstwhile teacher.
Also in 2007, three artists each painted a portrait of Oddie, as part of the BBC programme Star Portraits with Rolf Harris. One of the artists, Mark Roscoe, later revealed a dislike of Oddie, claiming to have included hidden insults in his work.
He hosted the genealogy-based series My Famous Family, broadcast on UKTV History in 2007. In 2008, Oddie was a guest on Jamie Oliver's television special Jamie's Fowl Dinners, talking about free-range chickens.
His illness meant that Oddie did not appear in the 2009 and 2010 series of Springwatch, although he made a guest appearance in the penultimate episode of the latter. He subsequently said he was dismissed from Springwatch and that this had caused the depressive illness.
On 30 June 2009, he was proposed for inclusion in the Birmingham Walk of Stars, with the public invited to vote.
In November 2010, he agreed, along with fellow members of The Goodies, to re-release their 1970s hit "The Funky Gibbon" to raise funds for the International Primate Protection League's Save the Gibbon appeal.
In 2011, Oddie featured as an investigator in Snares Uncovered: killers in the countryside. The film carried out an exposé of snaring in Scotland and was commissioned by animal protection charity OneKind. During the investigation, Oddie discovered over 70 snare traps and several stink pits.
He also appeared on Would I Lie To You? in 2011 where he revealed that he was saved from drowning by Freddy from popular children's series Rainbow and Rod, Jane and Freddy while on holiday in the Seychelles.
Oddie presented the BBC Radio 4 Appeal programme on 10 August 2014 on behalf of the charity Bipolar UK. He revealed that as a consequence of his bipolar disorder he had attempted suicide during one of his depressive episodes. On the UK TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? he attributed his depression and bipolar disorder as an adult to his minimal and painful relationship with his mother.
Oddie supports the Green Party. In October 2014, on the BBC's Sunday Morning Live, he stated that he wanted a limit on the number of children that British families can have, saying that he was "very often ashamed" to be British, calling them "a terrible race".
In February 2015, Oddie appeared in The Keith Lemon Sketch Show as the narrator of the sketch Ed Sheeran Watch.
He appeared as a contestant on a celebrity edition of Fifteen to One in August 2015.
Bill divorced Jean Hart, whom he had two children with, and married Laura Beaumont, who he has a daughter named Rosie with, in 1983. Bill's mother had schizophrenia.
Currently, Bill Oddie is 80 years, 10 months and 16 days old. Bill Oddie will celebrate 81st birthday on a Thursday 7th of July 2022. Below we countdown to Bill Oddie upcoming birthday.