Monday, 23 January 2012

Celebrity birding

One of my shortest lists is of celebrities that I have seen whilst birding. Most of them barely even qualify as celebrities, so the list might be considered stringy...

BILL ODDIE
I've bumped into the ex-Goodie and TV birder on quite a few occasions, but one meeting on the shingle at Dungeness deserves highlighting.
Me: "Hi!"
Bill: "Hello"
Me: "There are a few Whinchats further along"
Bill: "Thanks"
I reckon that's worth a Channel 4 dramatisation at some future point.

CHRISTOPHER TIMOTHY
The 'All Creatures Great and Small' actor and doyen of BBC1 afternoon TV was walking with a family group at Pagham Harbour. He was not carrying binoculars. I nodded at him (as I would to anybody even if they are not famous) but he didn't see me do so. Or he ignored me.

DEREK JARMAN
Artistic film director. Had a house at Dungeness.Regularly past him as I birded close to his garden. Now and again bumped into him within the DBO recording area. Polite waves and nods.

EDWINA CURRIE
Lives close to Holmethorpe Sand Pits and does walk around the footpaths that criss-cross the area. I have yet to pluck up the courage to replicate the comment that Gordon Ramsay made to her - "You may have f***ed our Prime Minister, but I don't want you f***ing up my kitchen"

ELLIOTT MORLEY
Jailed politician and expenses fiddler, stayed at Dungeness Bird Observatory at the same time as me in the late 1970s. Seemed a decent bloke. Most probably bought me a pint, so can't be all bad.

I can't think of any more at the moment. If I suddenly remember bumping into Michael Jackson at Cley or Mother Theresa on St. Agnes I'll let you know...

4 comments:

  1. Whilst at Titchwell with a few birding mates some time in the '90s we passed Rory McGrath along the path - it was very tempting to shout 'Bearded Tit showing well ....'

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  2. I have a better Bill Oddie tale...it even made it into his Gripping Yarns book. He was giving our ringing group a talk on Holy Island one weekend when we all got absolutely plastered. Bill made his excuses and left us locals to it and went up to his room. Next morning out birding the island with the absolute mother of all hangovers our meeting went something like this -

    Me- (silent, sitting ghostly white with a half consumed pint of milk in my coat pocket praying for an early death)

    Bill - Seen anything.

    Me- Nope, I think I'm still pissed...urgghh.

    Bill - ( Silent and he slowly wandered off )

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  3. Skev - you should have pushed him in a ditch because he supports Arsenal.

    Stewart: maybe this is the reason why Bill has developed 'issues'.

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  4. Edwina Currie walking her dogs at Holmethorpe: "Have you seen anything interesting?"
    Me: "You're the rarest bird I've seen today."
    Edwina: "Moron!"

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