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Bill's Australian Tour 2013 - Articles & Interviews
Brisbane Times - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 14/05/2013


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Goodie is coming for you
Date: June 18, 2013 - 3:13PM
    The Goodies back in the day: Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor. 

    The Goodies back in the day: Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor. Photo: Supplied

Sometimes you can play it cool when speaking to a childhood hero.
Other times you wind up gushing to a Goodie about Cambridge University in the early 1960s being a meeting place of the comedy gods.
“Oh please, you're going over the top, you really are,” laughed Bill Oddie, who will present his one-man nostalgic show An Oldie but a Goodie on Thursday at The Tivoli.
Bill Oddie in his music room.
Bill Oddie in his music room. Photo: Supplied
The 71-year-old was a fixed presence in the childhood of many Australians, with The Goodies on near constant repeats on the ABC during the 1970s and '80s.
The slapstick and surreal adventures of Tim Brooke-Taylor (the posh one), Graeme Garden (the smart one) and Bill (the hippie) enthralled children as dinners were prepared or digested.
Oddie says this resulted in an enduring affection for The Goodies in Australia that far eclipses their esteem in Britain.
“Australians are far nicer and more effusive than British audiences, who decided to hate us a long time ago,” he jokes.
But he says the 6.30pm timeslot for the show in Australia – far earlier than its 9pm slot in the Mother Country – meant a number of “ridiculous” cuts were made to their intended-for-adults program.
“The raunchiness – which is a nice word, you mean the filthy bits – that was always an integral part of it.”
Oddie says he'll discuss reactions to the show and its content in An Oldie but a Goodie.
“When we got censored in Britain, it was never to do with a double entrendre or a naughty bit, it was almost political,” he says.
“By far the best example was the program we did about South Africa, which was quite a hard-hitting anti-apartheid program, and they didn't want that to go out at all.”
Oddie says BBC management claimed the episode was simply not funny enough, so the Goodies promised to add 10 more jokes.
“Some of the best material was put in on the re-record, so there was no way they could say it wasn't funny, so they had to put it out.”
He'll also speak on the controversy surrounding disgraced former DJ Jimmy Savile, who's been revealed as a serial sex offender.
The Goodies featured on Savile's TV show Top of the Pops when they had music hits in the 1970s, and Oddie says the host had a reputation as a strange character.
“It's ridiculous for [BBC] bosses to say 'I never knew anything about that'. It's absurd, and it demeans them,” he says.
But he insists that Australian Rolf Harris – often lampooned by the Goodies – is receiving unfair attention from authorities.
“I find it very hard to believe that there is any real substance to what's gone on so far,” he says.
“Jimmy Savile he ain't.”
Oddie has spent much of his latter years as a passionate ornithologist, with 15 years of wildlife documentaries under his belt.
But he says this tour is about Goodies, not birdies.
Fans can expect more behind-the-scenes insights, including how they merged popular genres with social trends – such as kung-fu, punk and disco – to create satirical fodder.
“I want to make a few revelations, particularly about Tim and Graeme, because if they're not there they'll never know what I say,” he jokes.
“Graeme and I wrote the series. Tim was allowed to agree with us and that's all – he had to behave himself. When people ask why is Tim always the one in drag, it's because Graeme and I wrote it.”
Bill Oddie: An Oldie but a Goodie is on for one night only at The Tivoli on Thursday, June 20. has four double passes to give away. To enter, send an email to and answer the following question: What was the name of the Lancashire martial art that the Goodies created? Entries close at noon on Wednesday, June 19.

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