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Fame: Bill Oddie

Did you ever crave fame?

Not in any normal sense. But being connected with comedy programmes or groups that eventually had ten million viewers meant status was there. After the black, black time when I really got down and I had to drop out of Springwatch, I discovered that the thing that was getting to me most was the feeling of lost status.

Did you ever feel like a rock star?

[Sixties radio comedy show] I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again did have a mad fan base that would hang around outside the Playhouse Theatre. The heyday was in The Goodies, about 1976. That was a I-can’t-walk-down-the-street time. I hated that. Sometimes it turned nasty.

The screaming girls?

Blokes. They would challenge you: “Just cos you’re on fuckin’ telly.”

What’s the upside of celebrity?

There are a few parties. David Bowie put me on a list for something, and I did a function with Kate Bush. The seventies coincided not only with a certain amount of liberation, but having married young I decided to put myself around a bit. It’s a bit easier if you’ve been on the telly.

Has celebrity changed?

Celebrity will always have a shallow element. If you’re looking for a rather pompous statement, it would be that a star is a star not because of what they do, but because of who they are.

Jo Kendall
Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.