As a member of the famed comic troupe the Goodies, British comedian Bill
Oddie wrote and starred in an episode in which the trio ran a zoo filled
with celebrities, including a Rolf Harris breeding program.
Now with Harris facing sex abuse allegations in England after child sexual
abuse allegations involving the late Jimmy Savile, Oddie has expressed his
frustration at the treatment of the Australian performer.
"I just find this really, really sad," says Oddie. "I find it really, really
awful, because his wife is not well, hasn't been for a long time. As if life
isn't tough enough really with all that sort of thing going on. Leave him
While Oddie says that in the 1970s Savile "had a big label on saying
weirdo", he viewed Harris very differently.
"He's a jolly bloke," Oddie says. "He would want his morning cuddle from the
secretary and she'd be only too happy to give it him. It wasn't molestation
or anything like that."
Oddie is instead horrified by denials by BBC chiefs of any knowledge of
"It was one or two right top bosses who said, 'I know it might be hard to
believe but we didn't know anything about what went on in the '70s'.
"It is hard to believe. It's impossible to believe. And if you don't know,
you weren't doing your job."
Oddie is touring Australia with his one-man show An Oldie but a Goodie, in
which he will recount tales from his career as a Goodie, a wildlife
presenter and one-time pop star, including previously unseen material dating
back to his time at Cambridge University in the Footlights with members of
the Goodies and Monty Python.
"I've managed to assemble quite a lot of archive stuff which embarrassed me,
from before the Goodies, and [material from] after the Goodies which I'm
rather more proud of,'' the 71-year-old said.
"There's so many Goodies fans in Australia I can't imagine there's a single
frame they haven't seen."
Not that he expects universal recognition. "There must be generations coming
up now even down there who say, 'who are the Goodies?'. I mean one of your
ministers got us mixed up with the Wiggles," he recalls, referring to a
meeting with then education minister Amanda Vanstone in 2005.
Oddie's show will include some singing and also elements from his career as
a wildlife presenter.
Bill Oddie will perform at the Concourse Theatre on Friday.