11
Jun 07

OddieWatch

FT5 comments • 631 views

Last year Freaky Trigger reported on the madness of Bill Oddie. Well, he’s back on our TV screens for Spring Watch, the BBC’s seasonal look at the birds and beasts of these fair isles. For an hour. EVERY DAY.

The format of the show is a series of random, seemingly unplanned segments lasting no more than 2 minutes each (“Oh. It’s just some eggs. Right, let’s see what the moorhens are up to…”), linked together by ‘live chat’ from Bill and the weary Kate Humble (who has continued to morph into Charlie Dimmock at a steady rate over the last few years). Simon King off Big Cat Diary is exiled up in Islay, where he and his crew have set up home in a distillery (O RLY?) and are getting increasingly excited about golden eagles and otters. The sunshine up there looks wonderful, a comforting golden glow on the side of Simon’s happy little face that can’t solely be attributed to whiskey.

Bill and Kate however are stuck in a ‘shed’ together, sat on a mouldy sofa.  “We have some infra-red footage of an otter scratching a piece of ground!” exclaims Kate. She tries reign in Bill, pleading with him to at least stick to the running order if not the script, but the ex-Goodie is in a world of his own. “That could be a male…Or a female. We don’t really know what’s happening here.” At least Bill is consistent in his vagueness. Earlier he described a wren’s nest thusly: “well normally there would be something solid there, some…things…to hold it together, with stuff…” But Kate’s enthusiasm about the scratching otter leads her to make a profound observation. “It’s a message! Like otter graffitti!” Bill bursts her bubble. “Well Kate, that’s politer than saying he shits on the floor.” Hang on, what did he just say? Points Of View will be on the case before you can say ‘chuff’s nest’.

The longest time spent on any piece so far is a VT on the lifecycle of a caterpillar. “Will the chrysalis turn into a fairy? Will it turn into an ugly ducking?” Oddie continues to mumble incoherently. “No! Only ducklings turn into ducks, and this is a Peacock butterfly, and there it goes, off to hibernate like Sleeping Beauty-” Suddenly the film is interrupted by live badger footage. “Badgers! We have a badger! I thought that butterfly would never stop hibernating! Oh, I know I did the voice on that film but we’ve been waiting all bloody week for this.” The badger snuffles around in some long grass for a few seconds, then plods off. Ah, the perils of live broadcasting. Animals never behave when you want them to, do they Bill? “It’s just one thing after another,” he shrugs, frowning. “You expect to see lovely fluffy blue tits hatching and instead our male barn owl is missing, presumed dead.” Kate waves a prompt card and moves swiftly on to kingfishers.

“Interest in British wildlife is at an all-time high,” says the fox-watching dude in Glasgow. Perhaps it is? Though Bill Oddie’s interest in British wildlife seems somewhat…frustrated? Distracted? What was the question? Oh look! The golden eagle is eating a stoat!

Comments

  1. 1
    Tom on 11 Jun 2007 #

    Bill Oddie is just irritated that yet ANOTHER so-called rock history programme has ignored his founding contribution to the British funk scene.

  2. 2
    CarsmileSteve on 12 Jun 2007 #

    also springwatch is on considerably more than 1 hour per day. there are kids bits in the morning, THROUGH THE NIGHT bits and it’s even on Radio 4!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/springwatch/programmes/

  3. 3
    jeff w on 12 Jun 2007 #

    He also invented rap.

    I like Springwatch. I would watch it every day if I could get home early enough on a regular basis. There’s been an awful lot of WOL cannibalism this year.

    Terry Wogan is on his way down to Devon even as I type. He’s broadcasting live from Bill and Kate’s sofa tomorrow morning. They’re not gonna let him be on the show though, apparently. One loose cannon is presumably enough for any programme.

  4. 4
    mark c on 12 Jun 2007 #

    according to my sources, the Springwatch live feed has higher ratings than Big Brother live feed!

  5. 5
    Erithian on 15 Jun 2007 #

    Can anyone confirm what I half-heard on this show once, Bill said something like “Let’s go and have another look at Kate’s tits”?

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