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The Goodies

Bill Oddie issues a plea to keep the painting "Monarch of the Glen" in Scotland
06/11/2016 05:01 GMT

Posted by lisa

Real life mirrors a Goodies episode as Bill Oddie issues a plea to keep the painting "Monarch of the Glen" in Scotland - this article appears online at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/bill-oddies-plea-keep-iconic-9203856

Bill Oddie pleas to keep iconic painting in Scotland as artwork heads to auction

BILL Oddie has issued a plea to the people of Scotland to help keep the famous Monarch of the Glen painting in Scotland.

Bill Oddie pleas to keep iconic painting in Scotland as artwork heads to auction

BY CRAIG MCDONALD

BILL Oddie has issued a plea to the people of Scotland to help keep the famous Monarch of the Glen painting in Scotland.

   

Monarch of the Glen painting by Sir Edwin Landseer in 1851

He once declared it his favourite painting during a sketch in The Goodies.

And although Bill Oddie admits his tongue was firmly in his cheek, the comic turned conservationist is keen to see Sir Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen stay in Scotland.

Drinks firm Diageo, who own the painting, say they are ready to sell it. And it is feared the £10million price tag will lead to the Monarch leaving the country.

The painting featured in an episode of The Goodies in 1971 in which Oddie refused to pay off debt by flogging it to rich Americans – despite describing it as a “cow standing on top of a hill with big twigs stuck to its head”.

The famous artwork has been on loan to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh for the past 17 years.
Oddie, 75, yesterday said he hoped a Scottish landowner would thwart potential foreign buyers.

He said: “Monarch of the Glen must be one of the most successful paintings in history.

“The thought of it going abroad is sad – you can’t tell me there aren’t some wealthy estate-owning Scots who couldn’t afford to buy it.

“It would be nice if it could stay in Scotland or the UK. There aren’t many paintings which are almost like the national picture.

“It’s bad enough when any important works go abroad but when it’s something as iconic as this it would be even worse.

“And there is a bit of money in those Scottish glens. The landed gentry in particular could afford it, I’m sure.”

Recalling the Goodies episode, Oddie joked: “It’s one of those which I have tried to blank out but I do remember it as set in an art fair.

“I described Monarch of the Glen as my favourite painting – although I’m sure it probably wasn’t.

“A painting of a cow with sticks attached to its head. It is quite a good line actually – I’m quite proud of that line.”

Oddie gained huge fame in the 70s as one of comic trio The Goodies alongside Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden.

He later became a hugely popular presenter on Springwatch and Autumnwatch, the BBC’s long-running wildlife series. He was devastated when told in 2008 he wouldn’t be asked to do any more of the shows.

The rejection sent Oddie, who had a history of depression, into a downward spiral and he admits he spent much of the year that followed in bed.

He tried to take his own life twice before finally being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

He said: “I did have a couple of problems a few years ago but I’ve recovered and have had no troubles for ages. Thankfully, I’m fine now.”

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