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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Oddie hosts new wildlife series
Bill Oddie
The show promises a fresh perspective on Britain's wildlife
Springwatch host Bill Oddie is making a new series for BBC Two, taking a sideways look at Britain's wildlife.

Bill Oddie's Seriously Wild Show will be a light-hearted magazine programme, with producers promising an "eclectic mix" of features.

Oddie, 66, will delve into the legends and folklore of Britain's animal population, and set tricky challenges for wildlife cameraman John Aitcheson.

The ten-part series will be shown on BBC Two in early 2008.

"Historically, Bill has gone to part of the country and covered the wildlife population there," said director Stuart Armstrong.

"In this series, he'll bounce around the country. Whatever makes a good wildlife story has potential for inclusion."

Hare stories

Filming on the series started earlier this year, and is due to continue into September.

Several sequences have already been shot with sound recorder Chris Watson, who reveals the techniques for capturing the hidden sounds of Britain's animal population.

A brown hare (Photo courtesy of the South and South West Wales Wildlife Trust)
The series will investigate why hares became feared in England
"Chris is like a version of Q from James Bond," said Mr Armstrong. "He has all the kit to let you hear things you don't normally hear."

Mr Armstrong added that Oddie would be looking at the mythology of Britain's wildlife.

"The interesting thing is that when an animal can take on human form people make up stories," he says.

"For example, hares box as part of their mating ritual in the springtime and they often stand on two legs.

"In olden days, when people didn't have glasses, they'd see these hares standing on two legs and think it was a group of witches."

Bill Oddie's Seriously Wild Show is being produced by the BBC's Natural History Unit in Bristol.

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