There has been shock and anger from members of the public and other Goodies after the BBC revealed today that William “Bill” Oddie is its highest-paid performer, currently on £14 million per year despite not having had a BBC show since 2008.
Many people expected details of stars’ salaries to seem excessive, but few were prepared for the riches lavished on the lesser-spotted Oddie by a grateful BBC after a string of wildly successful bird-watching shows over the last 200 years.
BBC chairman Sir David Clementi defended Oddie’s pay, insisting: “We love Bill. The public loves Bill, and quite frankly £14 million a year is nothing, if it stops him going off and making higher-budget bird-watching programmes for Amazon.”
Lifelong BBC fan Jeremy Clarkson admitted that Oddie was “value for money” after the raft of successes the performer has brought to the channel over the years.
“If I’m honest, Bill was the reason I left the old Beeb,” he admitted this morning. “I knew deep down I’d never be able to compete, he’s always going to be the top guy. Look at all the shows – The Goodies, Bananaman, all the bird-watching stuff, obviously, and that one where they were all nudists. Was that him, or Keith Chegwin?”
“I was always so jealous, he was always the one who got all the birds.”
Former Goodie Tim-Brooke Taylor refused to comment, saying only: “If he’s worth that, then I’m a teapot.”
“And I am a teapot.”
Posting on Twitter, a spokesperson for Bill Oddie played down the huge salary, insisting it was “chickenfeed”, before adding nervously: “No, really, that’s what he uses it for. I’ve tried to stop him.”
“It was worse when we thought he was funneling all the cash into a hedge fund. Turns out it was a hedge.”