Bill Oddie to return to Springwatch after mystery axing

As fans of Springwatch will know, Bill Oddie – who shot to fame in comedy show The Goodies – left the BBC show in January 2009, with little or no explanation for his sudden departure.

However, later, he revealed that following an “incident” while on location filming, the show’s bosses told him, “We won’t be asking you to do Springwatch next year.”

At the time, all Bill said of his exit from the popular nature show was, “I am hoping that I might come back and do a few bits and pieces.”

He added, “I can’t pretend that I wouldn’t because it’s a programme I was there right from the start with and I was there for a long time.

“I am now thrust back – which I can’t say I enjoy doing – into the dreaded pitching and trying to sell yourself land…

“I have got plenty of ideas but you just sit around and wait and there’s an awful lot of that.”

Of his rapid evac exit, Bill said, “I was called in, and was told, ‘We won’t be asking you to do Springwatch next year’.

“So that was the big shock. No one explained why… I started slipping into a depression that got worse and worse… now, of course, the BBC was splendidly off the hook.

“They could issue a statement saying they were terribly sorry Mr Oddie wasn’t well and that they wished me the best.

“This, of course, was the reason Mr Oddie wasn’t doing Springwatch. But it wasn’t.”

Bill added, “It’s a long time ago and a failure of communications. I wasn’t well eventually – there was no question about that – and was in a situation where I couldn’t have given my best.

“Like a lot of big organisations perhaps they could have been more sympathetic.”

A BBC spokesman said the broadcaster had “always been open” to working with Bill again, and hoped he would work for the show in the future.


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.