Bill Oddie's Wild Side


Bill Oddie delves into the quirkier side of British wildlife and, with the help of wildlife cameraman John Aitchison and sound recordist Chris Watson, reveals normally hidden natural worlds. Every week Bill will be taking on a tough 24hr challenge - such as being buried in shingle beneath 30,000 birds!

Episode Description


Episode 1

In the first episode of the series, Bill explains how hares lay Easter eggs, meets Richmond Park's scariest predator, and takes up the camera to film the wildlife in his unusual (his wife says ludicrous) garden. And whilst John lies in a shallow grave to film a knot's eye view, Chris uses his sonic coat-hangar to listen to sandhoppers.


Episode 2

Cameraman John Aitchison attempts to film all six species of reptile currently residing in Britain in one day and Bill enlists the help of sound recordist Chris Watson in making him sound like a bird. The former Goodie also discusses the beauty of the pheasant and the bullying tendencies of the avocet before solving a garden mystery.


Episode 3

Bill challenges cameraman John Aitchison to observe microscopic creatures - with exciting results. The presenter also tracks down Britain's fastest-declining mammal and explores the close relationship between humans and seals, while sound recordist Chris Watson demonstrates how he picks up the individual sounds of sea birds.


Episode 4

Cameraman John Aitchison is sent to film wildlife on a landfill site and Bill heads to the Norfolk Broads where he finds a rare animal that appears to have the attributes of a cross between a bear, a sheep and an elephant. Chris Watson records the sounds of creatures inhabiting rock pools and the presenter observes swifts from a tower in Oxford.


Episode 5

Cameraman John Aitchison films bird of prey the goshawk and Bill categorises the music of songbirds with the help of sound recordist Chris Watson. The presenter also encounters a mysterious new form of pond life that is man-made but was inspired by nature. Artist Tony Heywood also contributes.


Episode 6

Cameraman John Aitchison heads to Scotland, where he attempts to film four seasons in a day. Bill meets fishermen who are causing a stir in Walthamstow and questions whether their bad reputation is justified. He also observes ring necked parakeets that have recently arrived in the country and crafts a bird sun deck in his garden.


Episode 7

John is challenged to film four seasons of weather in one day in Scotland. In Walthamstow, Bill meets some fishermen who accuse cormorants for feeding on their profits. Chris records the sounds of dolphins in northern Scotland and shares his tape of mating haddock. Bill looks for Ring-necked Parakeets, a new settler in the British countryside.


Episode 8

Bill demonstrates how almost every musical instrument has its natural equivalent in the animal kingdom. He also sets John Aitchison the challenge of filming the courting behaviour of the marsh harrier in just one day and travels to a seabird colony.


Episode 9

Bill discusses the reintroduction of beavers to the British countryside, realising they can have a positive effect on the landscape, and observes the raucous behaviour of rooks. John Aitchison films a family of dippers in Scotland and Chris Watson records creatures in a summertime meadow.


Episode 10

Bill joins Chris Watson on the Farne Islands to eavesdrop on puffins and challenges John Aitchison to film dragonflies in flight at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, a task previously considered impossible due to their immense speed. He also investigates herbal plants and looks back at highlights from the series.