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Bill Oddie flies Springwatch nest
Wildlife enthusiast Bill Oddie has announced that he is to quit the BBC's Springwatch programme after four years. The popular prime time series returns to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Norfolk in 2009.
Ornithologist and TV presenter Bill Oddie has decided to leave Springwatch after four years of co-hosting the show with Kate Humble.
The show has proved a hit with millions of viewers thanks to its up close and personal view of nature.
"I'm really going to miss working with Kate, Simon [King] and the team," said Bill.
"But after an amazing four years of really intense work it feels like the right time to take a breather and recharge my batteries," he added.
As the Springwatch team begin the search for a new presenter to join the regular line-up of Kate Humble and Simon King, the new series is all set to return to Pensthorpe near Fakenham in May 2009.
"We were sorry to hear that Bill Oddie is leaving the programme," said Mark Noble from the reserve.
Bill and Kate in Pensthorpe, Springwatch 2008
"However all of us here are delighted that Springwatch remain committed to basing the series at Pensthorpe and we're very much looking forward to welcoming them all back here in May," he added.
Bill Oddie's inimitable style has established Springwatch and Autumnwatch as two of the nation's favourite natural history programmes.
The show returns with a one hour special celebrating Bill's favourite moments from previous series.
"As Bill takes a break we're going to use this opportunity to celebrate all that's great about Springwatch and Autumnwatch," said Janice Hadlow the controller of BBC Two.
Bill's break from Springwatch will allow him to work on other projects for the BBC including two new editions of Bill Oddie's Top Ten.
last updated: 31/01/2009 at 17:15