I was no sexist, Bill Oddie says | Goodie responds to Miriam Margolyes' claim he was a 'shit' at Cambridge

I was no sexist, Bill Oddie says

Goodie responds to Miriam Margolyes' claim he was a 'shit' at Cambridge

Bill Oddie has insisted he was not sexist in his student days – after Miriam Margolyes spoke of how she felt belittled when they were in the Footlights comedy troupe together.

In her new memoirs, the actress calls the Goodie, along with future Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman, ‘total shits’ for making her life a misery because they could not deal with funny women.

She was the only female who performed in their 1962 revue, since the society was not yet open to women members, and tells the other performers’ treatment of her was ‘diminishing, pointed and vicious’.

However, Oddie has hit back in a tweet saying: ‘Miriam. It would really sadden me if you had me down as a Footlights mysogynist [sic].

‘I was incensed that women couldn't be "members", but I got no support from the "all male" council,   whom I accused of not wanting the competition!   Such as Germaine, Emma Thompson, and YOU! X’

Germaine Greer became the first woman member of the Footlights in 1964… although Oddie could hardly have campaigned on behalf of Thomson, who would have been three at the time. She appeared in the Perrier-winning 1981 team alongside  the likes of Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.

In her book, being serialised by the Daily Mail, Margolyes told how she would retreat to her college room and weep after being ignored by the rest of the team.

She wrote: ‘Someone decided I was not to be spoken to offstage: I would go on, do my bits, then the minute I stood in the wings, I was ignored; silence and cold stares.

‘John Cleese, Bill Oddie and Graham Chapman were total shits — and they have never apologised. The only one who did was the late Tim Brooke-Taylor. I’d assumed comedy was not for me after the nastiness of Footlights.’

• John Cleese and other snobby sexists made my life a misery, says Miriam Margolyes.

Published: 7 Sep 2021

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