Talk:Bill Oddie

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For use in future bibilography:

A Birdwatcher's Miscellany, Rob Hume, Blandford Press, 1984 ISBN 0-7137-1385-2


The article seems to have been extensively overhauled since I last looked and most likely by someone very close to B.Oddy himself judging by the extent of minute detail... The balance seems to have been shifted away from the 'wildlife' towards the 'comedy'. Interesting, cos most people under 40 would know him as a rather grumpy 'birder' would they not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Painter or not[edit]

I'm not convinced that Bill Oddie fits in the category of painters.

  • 1) Even though he might paint sometimes and even present a TV programme on painting, that is not sufficient
  • 2) Look at the rest of the list in Category:Painters, Bill Oddie and Churchill look like interlopers
  • 3) Painting is not even close to Bill Oddie's main claim to fame
  • 4) You don't even list painter as on of his qualities in the opening paragraph.

Is there a reason he should be included? -- Solipsist 14:14, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yes: he's a painter. The category is not "people famous as painters"; "professional painters"; excluding him on thsoe grounds is rather PoV. If he and Churchill look like interlopers, it's becasue too few other painters are included. Andy Mabbett 15:50, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, still not good enough for me. If his qualities as a painter aren't strong enough to be mentioned in the article about him, I can't see that they are strong enough to include him in the category. Given the ammendment you have recently added, he would be more appropriate in Category:Illustrators. Churchill at least published a book about painting, but that isn't mentioned in his article either. Perhaps the solution is to put them both in the Category:Amateur painters. -- Solipsist 17:15, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
still not good enough for me - Like I said, PoV. Oddie and Churchill have probably each sold more pictures than Van Gough... Andy Mabbett 17:59, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No its PoV to put someone in a category that is not particularly relevant and ignore others. Or are you contending that painting is one of the most important aspects of Bill Oddie's life. If so, it doesn't show up much on a Google search. (As you probably know Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime, but he was included in professional exhibitions and has sold a vast number of reproductions since).
Lets also try Reductio ad absurdum and add Bill Oddie to Category:British writers certainly more relevant than painting, Category:British musicians lets not forget Tie a Yellow Ribbon and The Funky Gibbon, Category:Photographers he must have some holiday snaps and even published a few, its PoV to require all Photographers to be professional, Category:Mountaineers I reckon he must have climbed Snowdon at least once.
It seems silly to be arguing about this when there isn't even an article on Philip Snow who would have a much better claim and an illustrator and painter in the same field. -- Solipsist 18:50, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
So stop being silly and write one! Andy Mabbett 18:57, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Following further discussion at Category_talk:Art and Wikipedia talk:Categorization, moving from Painters to Illustrators -- Solipsist 08:28, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

As the man in question is still alive someone should ask him, shouldn't they? Having categories removed, re-inserted, removed again, re-inserted again is idiotic.

While you're at it, ask him if he considers himself an ornithologist. Given that this is a scientific didscipline, it seems unlikely that Mr Oddie has ever had the time to devote to the required amount of study needed to become a scientist of any kind. He certainly holds no scientific qualifications, though this is not necessarily a requirement to be a scientist.John H, Morgan 08:50, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I think it would be useful to open the discussion on what kind of artist Bill is again - I'm not sure having him in a variety of different art-related categories is a good idea. Any views? SP-KP 10:07, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
On the whole, categories are supposed to be applied to help facilitate a reader to find an article relevant to a particular subject. In my opinion, this article is heavily over categorised - to the point of misrepresentation. As it happens, Andy Mabbett is no longer an active editor. He had previously been very protective of this and several other articles, so there is certainly an opportunity to get the categories straightend out now.
We shouldn't really need to ask Bill Oddie which categories he would consider he belongs to, rather we should just include the categories that would be useful to readers. Personally, I see only two categories that really ought to be here:Category:British comedians and Category:British television presenters. Some of the other cats, such as Category:Doctor Who actors are effectively fixed sets. I'm not convinced they help much, but as long as those categories exist they should be complete. Some of the others such as Category:British ornithologists are more of a judgement call; and a judgement best made by editors who are active in managing those particular categories. -- Solipsist 14:01, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

The fact AM is banned for 12 months will not stop him reverting any changes we make to the Oddie page. He has access to many computers, and then there is also the Internet cafe scene. A friend who knows him I once asked about the man, as he was also frequently posting on Usenet. My friend was reticent at first but eventually came up with - P*****k. All we can do is have all of us watching the page after we make agreed changes, and revert them as soon as some other "editor" makes problems. John H, Morgan 08:50, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Please remember WP:NPA, especially in reference to an editor who can't reply. -- Solipsist 09:29, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Sorry. I've amended the anecdote. What are your thoughts on the issue of petulant reverting, as may happen here if eventually we proceed in a way that hopefully we will all agree on. John H, Morgan 13:14, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Seems there is no further discussion so I'll remove the Category: British painters to begin with.John H, Morgan 18:23, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Brummie or not[edit]

If he grew up in Birmingham he is surely a Brummie regardless opf where he was born, as it is where one grows up that shapes one, marks ones accent, etc, SqueakBox 17:14, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

The cateory is for 'Birmingham Natives', of which he is not. Andy Mabbett 17:18, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
He is if he grew up there. My Mum was born in Egypt (services) but it doesn't make her Egyptian. That I was born in Yorkshire and left a few months later doesn't make a yorkshireman. Such an idea does not correspond to reality, SqueakBox 17:25, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
Native: # One born in or connected with a place by birth: a native of Scotland now living in the United States. # One of the original inhabitants or lifelong residents of a place. He may have been a resident; he was not and is not a native. Andy Mabbett 17:30, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

We just have to wait till tomorrow now. Where is your unsourced quote from, SqueakBox 17:33, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

Lots of reverts. Has this been listed on WP:RFC? We have to remember categories are there to help people reach the article. -- Joolz 15:28, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Well Pigs onthewing thinks I am delusional so we are at an impasse, and I am waiting for an apology, otgherwise it is he who will be facing an Rfc, SqueakBox 15:32, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

Also see Nigel Mansell and Ashia Hansen who waqs adopted and came to Birmingham at 3 months old, SqueakBox 16:01, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

The page has been listed on WP:RFC and this will hopefully generate some more comments. -- Joolz 16:35, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

It is at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Media, art and literature. Added Mansell and Hansen, though it directs people to this talk page. It seems all 3 either should or shouldn't be categorised thus. Cheers for flagging it there, SqueakBox 16:41, August 22, 2005 (UTC) SqueakBox 16:41, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

Umm. I would have thought it obvious that he qualifies...
James F. (talk) 16:43, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
The category is not applicable; as explained at Talk:Ashia Hansen. Andy Mabbett 20:11, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Hansen didn't get there till she was 6, SqueakBox 20:14, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
The meaning of native, (as explained to you, again, on her talk page) did not change with her arrival. Andy Mabbett 21:01, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Category should clearly be retained. 80.255 23:00, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I think 80's compromise, including him as a native of BOTH Lancaster and birmingham, is the correct solution, SqueakBox 16:38, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

A native means someone born there. Bill Oddie was not born in Birmingham and therefore is not a Birmingham native under any conceivable interpretation of the category. David | Talk 20:49, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

That is a very biased, one sided and narrow interpretation of native that not everyone agrees with, partly in my case because of the nasty ways such an interpretation of the word could be used. Does this mean my brother cannot consider himself a native of Chalfont St Giles because he was born in Amersham hospital and didn't arrive there till he was a few days old? Perhaps you could also enlighten me as tro whether I am a native of Harrogate, where I was born, or of Church Fenton where my parents lived at the time. Of course I doon't know either place to save my life, SqueakBox 22:17, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, that's the way it is. I was born in Bristol, am Scottish by ancestry and upbringing - and consider myself Scottish. BUT I would appear in a list of native Bristolians in wikipedia - if I'd ever done anything important, that is. Where you are born is a fact. Where you consider yourself to be "a native of" is a matter of opinion. Exile 20:23, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

My Uncle and Aunt knew his family, they did live in the Birmingham area, this is well documented. He even has a Brummie accent in my opinion. No one is arguing he is originally form Rochdale but he grew up/went to school in Birmingham and this is a important fact. N — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:47, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

I've no doubt your information is correct, but you still need a citation from a reliable, published source (see WP:CITE) - which should be easy to provide if it's "well documented". I'd dispute that the information is so important, though, that it has to appear in the very first sentence of the article. It belongs in the Personal life section. Dave.Dunford (talk) 11:14, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
In a spirit of compromise, I've edited the second para to include mention of Oddie's childhood in Halesowen (which strictly speaking is in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, not Birmingham). It could still do with a reputable citation, though. [Update: citation now provided; and, per his autobiography, he lived in Quinton, which is near Halesowen but within the City of Birmingham.] Dave.Dunford (talk) 13:20, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank-you - happy with that compromise - yes Quinton is a well known suburb of Birmingham, about 2-3 mile from the city centre. Nick -- (talk) 16:47, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

He is currently being nominated to get a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars alongside Julie Walter, Ozzy Osbourne, Frank Skinner etc. -- (talk) 16:58, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

In preperation[edit]



Rochdale is in the traditional county of Lancashire. It is not in the administrative county (see Lancashire) (rather, it is a Unitary Authority, independent from any other top-level administrative unit), and neither is it in the ceremonial county of lancashire (rather, it is ceremonially with Greater Manchester). Therefore, per the current policy, if you wish to say "Rochdale, Lancashire", it should be qualified with either 'traditional county' or 'duchy palatinate'. 80.255 17:13, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

How about "Rochdale, at the time in Lancashire" or "Rochdale, then in Lancashire" -- Joolz 17:45, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
That would be a POV statmement implying that the traditional county no longer exists. Using the palatinate of Lancaster might be better. See this map for the palatine boundaries, which are the same as the traditional county's, but perhaps less controversial. 80.255 17:55, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Why should the county be mentioned at all by the way? People who've never heard of Rochdale can visit that article, otherwise the only well known Rochdale is the one in the North west and as such it seems unneccessary to bring in complications about counties -- Joolz 17:59, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Pigsonthewing kept putting it back in, perhaps in an attempt to draw attention to the fact that he wasn't born in Birmingham, Warwickshire. I'm quite happy for Rochdale to stand on its own, so to speak. 80.255 18:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC) Edit: now removed.
From the policy you chose to cite:
Examples of acceptable things:
  • Most of the pigeons were found at Abingdon, then part of Berkshire
Andy Mabbett 10:58, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Since people are mentioning pigeons, I shall just mention that Oddie wrote a song, "Persecuting Pigeons in Trafalgar Square". If you know the Tom Lehrer song, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park", it's on exactly the same theme. I just think it's interesting, coming from Oddie. JHobson3 (talk) 14:37, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Bill Oddie, MA...[edit]

Is it necessary to introduce him as "Bill Oddie, OBE, MA (Cantab)"? As far as I know its not standard to list degrees in the intro in this way, especially as a Cambridge MA isn't a proper qualification, it's something you buy. JW 19:36, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

As nobody replied, I should go ahead and change itJohn H, Morgan 18:13, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

It is usual for the Cambridge MA to supercede the BA in a post-nominal list, as it is automatically awarded about three years after the original BA. It is incorrect to refer to the MA as "something you buy" - it is not possible to get the MA without first having to have worked for the BA. However, there are other masters degrees (e.g. MSc) for which additional work is required, and these would be listed in addition to the BA/MA. Also some other universities do award MA degrees in their own right. -- MightyWarrior 09:47, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Birding claim to fame...[edit]

Surprisingly Bill's Wikipedia biography doesn't mention his main claim to fame as a birder before he rose to prominence as a wildlife presenter... On 29th September 1976, with Roger Broad, he found Britain's first example of Pallas's Reed Bunting, on the Shetland island of Fair Isle. This is well documented in, amongst other publications, "Birds New to Britain and Ireland" by Sharrock and Grant (Poyser, Calton, 1982).

In the birding fraternity getting your name against a "first" is a really big deal!

He also sketched the bird and reproduced same in his "Little Black Bird Book". Is this what makes him a British ornithologist, a British painter and British illustrator, as per the categories under which his name appears? John H, Morgan 07:09, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

  • No, his painting (including appearing on television in that capacity) makes him a painter. His ornithological work makes him an ornithologist. But yes, his work as an illustrator makes him an illustrator. Andy Mabbett 19:01, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


This article has been repeatedly vandalised by an anonymous user by the IP numbers of and (and also Michael Palin's article under the IP number of, where the user is adding exactly the same offensive remark). Obviously the three computers are within easy reach of each other in the same computer room, and this factor allows the person to continue with obnoxious remarks as though they were coming from three different users.

Could people keep a watch out for further vandalism by this user. Thanks. Figaro 14:04, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


"…he suffers from bouts of depression" is NOT a clinical diagnosis. See also the Category's Talk Page. Michael David 11:52, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

A number of biographical articles on Oddie do make mention of his problems with depression, the earliest of which I saw was in the Sunday Times (London) over 10 years ago. I suspect that someone with the time to do it needs to get the citations, but apparently depressive illness plays a big part in his life and so warrants a properly referenced mention.
A recent article documenting his depressive illness and break down can be found at:,,1885499,00.html
Minor reference in:
There are others, but some of them just seem to cross reference an article in "The Idler" where Oddie talks about his depressive illness, but I can't seem to find that article. 10:24, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed "bipolar disorder" tag[edit]

I have removed the "Category:People with bipolar disorder" tag from this article, because of the lack of any reference to bipolar disorder in the article, or any supporting cite for this assertion. Please do not add this tag unless you have a verifiable cite for this diagnosis; in the case of living people, this should include a statement from the person in question. See List of people believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder for the listing criteria used there. -- The Anome 10:34, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

In the Guardian interview cited above, he says he's not bipolar. Andy Mabbett 11:39, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
In the BBC Radio 4 Appeal, broadcast on 10th and 14th Aug 2014, Bill, speaking as a patron of "Bipolar UK", said that he is bipolar himself, and he had attempted suicide during one of his depressive episodes. (talk) 10:41, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Time For A Story[edit]

Does anyone have any information about his narartion of 'Time For A Story' on TV? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:18, 27 March 2007 (UTC).

Nothing on IMDb. Andy Mabbett 09:07, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

'Other television and audio appearances' revisions-(Buzzcocks/8 out of 10 Cats)[edit]

Someone has also been reverting changes I made to the 'other televison work' section.It has been properly referenced and has been shown not to be a subjective point of view but a widely held one, the account previously recorded was (wilfully?) misleading.Let's try and remain subjective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Indeed - and I've just done so again. Your comments were far from objective, and were not referenced. Please read WP:OR, WP:VERIFY, WP:NPOV and WP:BLP. Andy Mabbett 09:40, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
-Do you consider the present article to be accurate?And I don't understand how you can say that my contribution wasn't referenced, I supplied lists of discussion websites in which people gave their opinion of his performance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Your references were not permissable because they are SPAM references (i.e. they are references to fan/forum websites which, as such, are disallowed as references for article pages). If you want to comment, then you should add the comments to the talk page — not to the article page. The comments you added are also POV comments — which are also not allowed on article pages. Figaro 07:41, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Did you read WP:OR, WP:VERIFY, WP:NPOV and WP:BLP, as advised? Do you think your edit complies with those policies? Andy Mabbett 16:25, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

The text has again been restored, with YouTube cited- it is not acceptable as a reference. The cited article from the Independent newspaper does not support the claims made, I expect that another editor will shortly, and once again, remove the policy-violating content which has just been re-added to the article. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 17:28, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

phil jupitus describes oddie as being a weird prescence on the show, and says he was not funny, just because you are to lazy to read through it does not mean it is not a proper reference.Youtube is cited only as visual evidence that what I have said is self evident. magneticstockbrokingpetdetective
"just because you are to lazy..." - when you've finished reading the other applicable policies, please read and understand WP:AGF and WP:NPA. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 17:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
magneticstockbrokingpetdetective: you need to look more carefully at your own references. The YouTube video (which Andy Mabbett has explained, we cannot use) does show Oddie acting in a bizarre fashion, but he is getting laughs — sometimes big laughs. The other reference you provide from The Independent puts this into perspective:
"The new, mellower Oddie still has a reputation for grouchiness. 'He is a consummate professional,' explains Holden, 'and a lot of his public appearances are performances. As with a lot of performers he can be temperamental, and that's the case with Bill. He is a passionate person about nature in particular. But it's the passion that makes him so watchable'.
"The broadcaster Phill Jupitus remembers Oddie's recent, eccentric performance on the BBC's music quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks rather differently. 'There was a weird atmosphere in the studio', said Jupitus. 'It was as if Oddie genuinely didn't want to be there. He's certainly got a unique outlook on the whole business. He arrives jaded. For someone who is so good on television, he really doesn't seem to enjoy it."
The reference does not support what you are trying to say about it being a "humiliating performance... with other members of the studio insulting him throughout." BTW, would you please avoid making personal attacks (such as calling another user "lazy"? Let't keep the discussion civil. Sunray 18:27, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

You are obviously enfatuated with Bill Oddie then, because that is the only possible way you could watch that show and not see how embarassing his appearance was, he wasn't getting 'big laughs', he was making terrible jokes and every single user comment of every forum, (I know these are not admissable as references, just putting it into context for you), describes him as a 'nutcase', 'weird', 'unfunny', and his performance as 'embarassing', 'cringeworthy', 'humiliating'.The Phil Jupitus quote proves that he didn't blow the audience away with an irreverant display bringing to mind his Goodies heyday, or whatever rubbish is posted up there at the moment.My edit is factually accurate, so it's staying up.He is insulted throughout in the NMTB's episode I posted and if you choose not to acknowledge that, that's fine, but the current edit is simply false, and is wilfully misleading.


"My edit is factually accurate, so it's staying up" - your former assertion is unsupported by evidence; therefore the latter highly doubtful. Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 11:29, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


Why is the infobox in this article constructed in situ, rather than calling {{infobox biography}}? Andy Mabbett 20:39, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


In relation to Oddie's appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, for those that actually watched the show it was clear to all that his performance was not enjoyed by his fellow guests, and indeed he became the subject of many of the other guests jokes. As for the montage at the end of the show, it couldn't have been further from the homage this page seems to suggest it was, it was to mock Oddie's tedious attempts at being irreverant and/or humourous. To quote Stewart Lee during the show "The only way to edit tonight's episode is not with harsh cuts, but with a series of very long slow fades". Please stop editing the facts out and replacing them with biased pro-Oddie material, the episode in question is available in its entirety on YouTube if you require an irrefutable reference. Thank You.

Wikipedia guidelines: Biographies_of_living_persons. Thank you. QuietWikipedian 20:44, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Alan Partridge[edit]

Bill Oddie is frequently mentioned as alans friend the alan partridge series. i think this might deserve a quick mention under the comedy appearence section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:55, 1 November 2007


I have uploaded an image file that I created from a TV interview. (Goldmanuk (talk) 19:05, 16 January 2008 (UTC))

If people are going to delete images that I have created I will not contribute any more pictures. (Goldmanuk (talk) 00:31, 21 January 2008 (UTC))

You didn't create it, you copied it from a TV program. The cameraman created it. So it's not a free image. -- Tim Starling (talk) 02:12, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Picture is a cardboard cutout[edit]

The picture on here is a cardboard cutout in a garden centre...look at his foot/shoes if you doubt it? --Pridds (talk) 08:45, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Maybe this can be included[edit] Wasbeer 11:34, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I hope not, per WP:POPCULTURE: "["In popular culture" content] should be verifiable and should contain facts of genuine interest to the reader...these sections can devolve into indiscriminate collections of trivia or cruft...they may attract non-notable entries, especially if they are in list format." I'd say this is a classic example of the latter, as were the two examples I've just removed from the article (I left the Alan Partridge and Top Gear mentions, as Oddie is at least a recurring element of those shows, rather than merely the subject of a passing mention). I can't see the point in a list of every show that's ever briefly mentioned Bill Oddie: it tells you nothing about the subject. In this sketch, Oddie is merely a random celebrity; his identity isn't even crucial to the joke and almost any other celebrity could have been substituted. I don't believe Bill Oddie is a notably frequent target of comedians or parodists, which might otherwise justify a list. For me, lists like this trivialise and undermine the credibility of Wikipedia (to say nothing to the objections raised at WP:YOUTUBE). Dave.Dunford (talk) 12:20, 6 June 2011 (UTC)