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Odd Gorillas

Entry 613, on 2007-09-24 at 18:05:57 (Rating 1, News)

In a recent BBC news article I read that hundreds of people dressed in gorilla suits ran through London to help save gorillas from extinction. The event was started by conservationist Bill Oddie. When I read that name I recognised it. Could it be the same Bill Oddie who starred in the classic British comedy series, "the Goodies", so many years ago? Sure enough, after a brief search of the Internet, it turned out that Oddie is now involved in conservation.

As is often the case when researching a topic on the Internet, the first results lead in a slightly different direction, in this case to an article on Bill Oddie at Wikipedia, then to a description of some of the Goodies episodes. This program hasn't been rerun as much as some other comedy classics, so I haven't seen it for many years (it originally ran between 1970 and 1982), and it was hard to remember many of the zany plots, but one in particular seemed familiar. This description appeared in an advertisement for the Goodies DVD from Amazon...

In episode two, "Scatty Safari," the Goodies devise a Star Safari Park. Popular Disc Jockey, Tony Blackburn, is the main attraction, but he meets an ugly fate after a few bars of "Born Free." So the Goodies plot to abduct Australian entertainer, Rolf Harris and keep him in Blackburn's place. Problems begin when the Goodies mate Rolf Harris in captivity, and soon there is a plague of Rolf Harrises running around all over England - harassing housewives, and generally causing madness and mayhem. After an appeal by the Queen (she offers the hand of Prince Charles in marriage to the person who saves her kingdom), the Goodies spring into action.

I seem to remember Rolf Harrises everywhere singing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport", etc and the Goodies blowing them up some way. Sort of bizarre, I suppose, but no worse than most other episodes of the Goodies!

Of course, the issue of endangered species is a serious one, and its good that its being publicised by people like Oddie. Species becoming extinct is a normal part of the evolution of life on Earth (for every species living now there are 100 which have become extinct in the past) but when human activity accelerates the process we should be taking action. Biodiversity is important for maintaining the balance of the complex interactions of the natural world, but also from the point of view that it would just be sad from an aesthetic perspective if a cool species like the gorilla became extinct.

So well done to Bill: first for eliminating the curse of the plague of Rolf Harrises, and second for helping to raise funds to help the gorilla!

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