Bill Oddie has revealed that he attempted to take his own life twice after leaving BBC Two shows Springwatch and Autumnwatch. The 73-year-old TV presenter has admitted that after being axed from the nature show he fell into a deep depression which prompted him to take a large quantity of sleeping pills.
"It was a dangerous year; in and out of hospital," Bill told the Daily Mail. "That could have been it. I was taken in 'for my own safety'."
Bill Oddie has revealed that he attempted to take his own life twice
"It’s not difficult to recognise when you’re in a deep depression," he added. "You’re not going to miss it. Everything is black. You can’t talk or think."
Rochdale-born Bill, who rose to fame in the '70s as one comedic trio The Goodies, made two suicide attempts in 2009, one in spring and another the autumn.
Nature lover Bill said he "burst into tears" when he was told he would not longer be part of Springwatch
"I'd been in bed for several days and you don’t know what to do except sleep," he said. "So you take a couple of sleeping pills — I had them on prescription — and then you take another and another until they’re all gone."
Bill, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, says he then recalls waking up in hospital surrounded by his wife and children.
"I remember a very nice, gentle nurse and Laura and my three daughters being by my bed, a little entourage."
Bill with one of his granddaughters in 2007
Speaking of his heartbreak at being told by TV bosses that he would not be asked back to make any more episodes of Springwatch and Autumnwatch, Bill said he "burst into tears" when he got the call.
"I was very proud of the programme," he said. "I was there at its foundation and I was part of its evolution. A massive chunk of my life was going to be taken away. It was like a professional footballer being told: "Your injury is too bad. You’ll never play again.""