This section is designed to respond to all those folk who ask me what I am doing these days. I have included a few appearances from last year to prove that whatever I have been doing I have been doing it for quite a long time. There is also warning of events that will be happening during the rest of 2015, plus some even I don’t know about yet.
Most imminent gig is the annual Slapstick Festival in Bristol at the end of January. Literally a feast of fun. Be there if you can.
My life is now in bits and pieces. Fortunately,many of them are good fun or fascinating and -just now and then quite- satisfying. As a writer, I have been transferred from BBC Wildlife over to Birdwatch, whom I used to write for some years ago. It’s a bit like Drogba going back to Chelsea. I flatter myself of course. TV appearances have been exclusively short, consisting either of celebrity game shows – with my winnings going to The League Against Cruel Sports- or being called into The News as an expert on environmental topics from badgers,to global warming, to Taylor Swift’s video filming disturbing beach nesting New Zealand plovers. That one neatly combined several of my favourite enthusiasms! Talking of New Zealand, about the only future event in my diary is a three week lecture tour in May. Looking forward to that a lot.
Meanwhile, I wait in vain for any kind of call from my erstwhile employers at the BBC. It is a shame – for me anyway- cos I miss working with the kind of team that the Natural History Unit assembles. I am not being pathetic ,just truthful. Nevertheless , it is some kind of consolation in being grabbed by merry lads and yanked into a selfie, whilst being assured “Legend man! Legend!” It is only slightly undermined when they add “My Mum loves you.” Nothing wrong with that mind you, especially since I didn’t have a mum at home. Aw!
The classic rock awards
AND… The CLASSIC ROCK AWARDS! Hundreds of grizzled old rockers that have put on weight and gone grey. Great fun guessing who they are! One of them is me.
New ‘Sarah Class’ album coming out!
Looking forward to … Launch of my chum Sarah Class’s new album. Just Google her. Quite an achiever. Impressive lady.
Late October is awards time. I have already attended IFAW Animal Awards, RSPCA Animal Heroes. The Conservation Volunteers are next, closely followed by BTO and RSPB . Venues have varied from the Houses of Commons and Lords, the Mall Art Gallery, and a serious swish “ballroom” type place with thousands of round tables, gaggles of soap stars and reality show “celebs”, and even a bleedin boy band singing ‘Let it Go’ and ‘Circle of Life’. Amanda Holden did a fine compere job, Ricky Gervais won something, and there were at least three real dogs allowed in. Couldn’t help thinking that the evening must have cost half a years budget for many NGO’s. The Mirror were paying. Thanks.
More Unplucked events including Womens Institute Centennial in Harrogate, where I had to compete with a man selling toilet brushes … very loudly! And – in great contrast – a sedate gig at The Times Literary Festival in Cheltenham.
Hols, at last. Two weeks on Tresco in Scilly. Barely a bird in sight, but at least our cottage had a giant telly for the World Cup.
‘Wallasea Island’ opening in Essex.
Magnificent opening. Wallasea Island in Essex. An enormous new RSPB reserve created by breaching the sea wall to create tidal lagoons and judicious flooding, and indeed flood control. Massive co operation from Cross Rail who transported huge loads of spoil from the excavations in central London, sailed it down the Thames and finally “dumped” it in Essex. A consolation for the fact that we Londoners are trapped in permanent gridlock and ever escalating roadworks. I think.
All Wallasea needs now is birds.
Speaking at Stormont
September highlights included representing the League in Northern Ireland. I spoke at Stormont. That was a first. Hunting with dogs is still legal there. Hopefully not for much longer.
Protest outside ‘Shell’ offices
Late August. Protest outside SHELL offices . Charlotte Church belting beautifully in the pouring rain. It obviously did the trick, as a few weeks later SHELL abandoned drilling in the Arctic. A TRUE TRIUMPH… may it last for ever.
Charlotte is a splendid example of how impressive a human being can be!
Bird watching fair
Mid August was dominated by the annual Birdwatching Fair. This year was truly wondrous, and I was as busy as I used to be back in the old days (when I was almost the only “celeb” birder.) Chaired presentation on “bird killing in the Med and in UK” for League Against Cruel Sports. “Best day birding in Britain”, in which we all bowed to the legend that is D.I.M. Wallace. A hybrid between Brian Blessed and Billy Connolly! I chaired “Bird Brain of Britain” as usual but injected some silliness, which I suspect bewildered some of the youngsters! Also numerous book signings and appearances for Leica. The event climaxed as I gave my ‘Gruffalo’, alongside several bird people who relished their parts with indecent abandon. Great fun.
BIRD FAIR preparations
Various preambles and preparations for the BIRD FAIR at Rutland Water August 21 to 23.
Launch of ‘Nextinction’ by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy
Attended launch of “Nextinction”, a remarkable new book by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy .
League Against Cruel Sports A.G.M.
League Against Cruel Sports A.G.M. Followed by reception in the Commons, followed by Government withdrawing the vote on Hunting Bill. Phew! That’s the hunting Bill, not me.
Guest on “This Morning” talking about delinquent Gulls attacking pets and people. The Star says ‘hide your babies!’ See Twitter for my opinions!
Contestant on ‘Celebrity 15 to 1′
Finished third and won £1000 for the League Against Cruel Sports.
“Show” and book signings at Harrogate, Lichfield, Buxton.
25th July 2015
11th July 2015
2nd July 2015
BUY TICKETS HERE
13th June 2015
Bristol Festival of Nature
2015 (so far)
Promotion for ‘Bill Oddie Unplucked’
Promotion for the new book “Bill Oddie Unplucked”, which has so far involved talks and book signings in Oxford, Glasgow, Norfolk, Edinburgh and the Hay Festival. Also radio and TV, from Steve W right to Loose Women.
Memorable and purely pleasurable was a fund raising evening at his old school (King Edwards School Birmingham) where he was able to relate or deny scandalous tales of his teenage years.
But this could not compete with the unique experience of standing on the pitch at Reading FC, whilst the crowd delivered a rousing chorus of “ Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie, Rub your beard all over my body.” Alas, it didn’t help them beat Arsenal in the cup.
A week in Malta during the spring hunting was very depressing, in contrast to a week in Armenia which was a delight.
Several appearances on behalf of The League Against Cruel Sports, the Gorilla Organisation, RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, IFAW , The Wildlife Trusts, RSPCA and others, often involving “promotional” videos and public addresses.
Performances for World Land Trust
Performances for World Land Trust,including “chat show” with David Gower and Simon Barnes, and an evening with Sarah Class discussing and demonstrating her music for David Attenborough TV series.
Tour of British Zoos (BIAZA)
Tour of British Zoos on behalf of BIAZA. Including Chester, Shepreth, Newquay, Yorkshire and Twycross to address AGM.
Global Witness Vs HSBC
Video for Global Witness protesting against HSPC banks financing forest wrecking activities.