Former Springwatch presenter Bill Oddie says his departure from the BBC2 wildlife show has left a lasting hole in his life, telling RadioTimes.com “I still feel that a large chunk of my working life – and my personality – was taken away”.
Oddie, who has battled depression for much of his life, left Springwatch at the end of 2008, telling the Daily Mirror soon afterwards: “I’m really going to miss working with [co-hosts] Kate [Humble], Simon [King] and the team but after four amazing years of really intense work it feels like the right time to take a breather and recharge my batteries.”
But he later claimed he had been frozen out by the BBC following an unspecified “incident” during filming on Brownsea Island in Dorset.
The naturalist said he had telephoned his producer and asked her “It’s as if you’ve been told not to talk to me,” to which she supposedly replied “We have.”
Asked by RadioTimes.com whether he was likely to be back on TV screens in his capacity as a naturalist in the near future, Oddie said: “The truthful answer is ‘I doubt it’. I have to be asked, by someone who has the power to employ me.
“’We won’t be asking you to do Springwatch this year’ I was told. No explanation. Never has been. I still feel that a large chunk of my working life – and my personality – was taken away.
“Fortunately, I have a fabulous family, a great wife, and some lovely friends. Mainly from the world of conservation and animal care. Frankly, that is a kinder world than the BBC.”
RadioTimes.com contacted the BBC for comment.