Bill Oddie

 Whingeing at light hearted nature commentaries



30th May
2008
  

Lesser Spotted Whinging Tits...

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Nutters whinge at Bill Oddie's light hearted commentaries

Springwatch logoMillions of viewers tune in every week to BBC's Springwatch , fronted by Bill Oddie. It came as a shock to many when the presenter used rather direct language when narrating sexual congress in the natural world.

Describing a mating scene between two sparrows, Oddie  said: The female is asking for it – and getting it, basically. She is doing that wing-fluttering think like that as if to say: 'I am a baby, feed me'... [and] is getting quite the opposite. He concluded the piece by saying: That's a wing-trembler she's just had there.

An item on beetles reignited the sensitivities of some viewers. Describing the sexual congress taking place in front of viewers' eyes, Oddie abandoned euphemism altogether. He crash-lands on top of a likely looking lady – there's a bit of luck! One thing's for sure: this boy is horny!

Then, as the male fought off a competing suitor for the right to mate, Oddie went into character, adopting the part of the female and saying in a high-pitched voice: Come on big boy, come and get it. Oh, be gentle with me!

A few viewers reacted with predictable outrage. One man complained: I am sick to death of the constant innuendo being offered by Bill every time a scene of mating appears.

It isn't funny or witty... just downright embarrassing when you are watching it with children. For example, being asked by my 10-year-old daughter: 'What does horny mean, daddy?' when watching mating beetles isn't right.


Another viewer said: This is schoolboy sniggering, behind-the-bike-sheds type humour and it's out of place in a programme that is otherwise marvellously educational for all age groups.

The BBC commented that many viewers endorsed the "light-hearted view" of Springwatch and Oddie. The programme is always looking at new, creative and entertaining ways of bringing nature to a wider audience. Storytelling is one of many ways of doing this. No offence was intended.

 

9th November
2008
  

Update: The Nature of Offence...

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A few nutters whinge at Bill Oddie's dead squirrel comments

Autumnwatch The BBC has received 4 complaints after a family show featured close-up shots of an electrocuted squirrel.

Viewers of Autumnwatch , the popular wildlife series, claimed that there was no need to include the footage, which they said had upset their children.

The programme, broadcast at 8pm last Monday, showed images of the corpse of a squirrel that had been electrocuted after gnawing through a live cable connected to presenter Bill Oddie's garden shed.

Oddie and his co-presenter Kate Humble joked about the incident, with Oddie quipping: Better red than dead . . . or grey. Let all squirrels watching be warned, because you can get too cocky.

Echoing the Monty Python dead parrot sketch, Ms Humble said: So, it's not a sleeping squirrel? It's an ex-squirrel.

Mick Read who was watching with his two young children, said: My kids were really upset. Why did they have to show the squirrel? They could just have shown the electric cable where it had been bitten through. I know adults regard squirrels as pests but kids love them. I don't think Bill Oddie should have been joking about it.

A BBC spokeswoman said: As with all natural history programmes, Autumnwatch has a duty to show nature “as it is”, which sometimes includes scenes of death. Addressing these difficult subjects for our family audience in a sensitive way is of utmost importance to us. In this case, we felt the close-up was necessary as it showed the reason for the animal's death, the gnawed electrical wire.

 


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