Bill Oddie

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William Edgar "Bill" Oddie OBE (born 7 July 1941, Rochdale, England) is an English author, actor, comedian, artist, naturalist and musician, who became famous as one of The Goodies.

A birdwatcher since childhood, Oddie has now established a reputation for himself as an ornithologist, conservationist and television presenter on wildlife issues. Some of his books are illustrated with his own paintings and drawings.[1]

Oddie's wildlife programmes for the BBC include: Springwatch/Autumnwatch, How to Watch Wildlife, Wild In Your Garden, Birding with Bill Oddie, Britain Goes Wild with Bill Oddie and Bill Oddie Goes Wild.


Personal life

Early life

Oddie was born in Rochdale on 7 July 1941 to Harry Oddie and Lillian (née Clegg), who had also had a daughter, Margaret Jean Oddie, who died when 5 days old on 21 January 1940.[2] Oddie lived at Oak Tree Crescent, Quinton, Birmingham from about age 6 to 15, brought up by his father and his father's mother, Emily.[2] Oddie has no memory of his mother, Lilian, living at home.[2] As a child she worked in a cotton mill under harsh conditions.[2] She suffered from a chronic mental illness, perhaps bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and abandoned Oddie while he was at an early age.[2] She was an in-patient in Barnsley Hall Hospital, Bromsgrove, for more than 20 years, having been first admitted as a voluntary patient at the age of 36 years.[2] When Harry was 17 years old his father, Wilkinson Oddie, died of heart failure on 23 February 1927, a post-operative death, after an operation for carcinoma of the left tonsil, which used chloroform as an anaesthetic.[2] Oddie developed a hobby first in egg collecting (which was then legal) then birdwatching, and his father encouraged school education.[2]

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