I love Bill Oddie. I got to go birding with him last year in Israel, great birder and loads of fun. People in the US generally aren’t familiar with him unless they were fans of watching the original Doctor Who on late night public television and caught The Goodies, or are professional comedians (again, The Goodies). How awesome are The Goodies? Someone literally died laughing while watching the infamous Ecky Thump episode. You can find quite a few episodes on YouTube, I recommend Ecky Thump, Goodies The Movies AKA The British Film Industry (the ending montage is comedy gold) or Kitten Kong. Though my friend Max would feel I was remiss if I didn’t include Punky Business. It’s a little Monty Python, a little Monkees with a touch of Benny Hill. If any of that appeals to you, start Googling.
Mr. Oddie is known over in the UK for not only his mad comedic skills, but as a writer, birder, naturalist and nature program host. (That’s right, he’s the total package and my second favorite Bill on the planet).
Well, as fate would have it, my partner in beekeeping Mr. Neil once interviewed him in the early 1980s (and Neil is the one who introduced me to Mr. Oddie years ago, by loaning me one of his books thinking that we would be kindred spirits). And we are. I am unbelievably honored that Mr. Oddie wrote the foreword to my book coming in 2013, 1001 Things Every Birder Should Know.
I was out with Neil today as we put some insulation around our beehives for the winter. Bill Tweeted a photo to us waving a hello:
Isn’t he adorable? What a sweetheart of a guy. So, we tweeted back:
That’s me looking wacky, there’s Neil looking debonaire. Also, note the distinct habitat difference between the two photos.
Neil mentioned that he wrote an article about Bill in 1984 for a magazine I wasn’t familiar with called Knave. With the help of his personal assistant Lorraine, I went to look it up in his vast archives so I could scan the article and email it to Bill…and discovered that it was a bird magazine, but in the British sense. There were a lot of naked ladies in there! Apparently it’s the equivalent of Playboy. Wow. Hair was a lot different in the early to mid 1980s (wink wink, nudge nudge). Non Birding Bill was happy to take it and scan the article for me…thanks, NBB.
So, a fun, if not educational day for me.