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The Goodies

Bill Oddie interview from the Sydney Morning Herald
16/06/2013 03:38 GMT

Posted by lisa

The following interview appears online at

Leave Rolf alone, pleads ex-Goodie

Date June 16, 2013

Giles Hardie

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 alone."

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 Savile's conduct.

"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.

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