Bill Oddie, 79, was ‘knocking on heaven’s door’ for nearly a year due to lithium poisoning

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Former The Goodies star Bill Oddie has spoken out about his health ordeal after he battled lithium poisoning. The star, who used to present BBC’s Springwatch, revealed to his 78,000 Twitter followers that he had been “nigh on comatose” for nearly a year due to the condition, which he had contracted during lockdown.

Bill previously addressed his illness in September last year and shared an update with fans last night.

The television personality has also spoken in the past about his depression battle, which saw him admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 2009 while he was also being treated for bipolar disease with a lithium prescription.

Addressing his health struggles, Bill penned yesterday: “For nearly a year I have been nigh on comatose. 

“Knocking on Heaven’s door with lithium poisoning. Saved by consultant at Royal Free Hospital.

“Then months mostly avoiding life and people. Depressed or asleep. 

“Scaring my family and myself. No joy and no hope.”

Bill then shared in a separate tweet that his health had been starting to improve in recent weeks.

He wrote: “Then ten days ago everything changed . Energy returned. No longer intimidated by tech, politics ,or the world as it is.


“Loving the Euros, thrilled by ‘Lady Parts’ on Ch4, revelling in my garden, friends, family and Sandy the dog. 

“How?! Why? Meds, magic , or miracle?”

According to the NHS, lithium is a type of medicine that works as a mood stabiliser.

However, too much lithium in the blood can cause serious side effects, including causing people to lose their appetite and feel sick, lightheaded, drowsy or confused.

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Poisoning can also lead to blackouts, shaking, muscle weakness, blurred vision and difficulty speaking.

Last year, Bill said the condition was “almost fatal” for him.

He wrote on Twitter: “Just so you know, I have been very ill most of this summer . Lithium toxicity. Almost fatal! 

“I am still here but very confused about most things! But then aren’t many of us. IT fuddles my brain.

“Confusion. Will I return ? I Really dunno. I do hope so. Please wish me luck. XX.”

Bill became famous as a member of the comedy trio The Goodies, who were popular in the 1960s.

Recently, he has appeared on BBC’s seasonal nature series Springwatch and Autumnwatch.  

10 years ago, Bill said he had endured “probably the worst 12 months of my life” due to his struggle with depression and bipolar disorder.

The star had spent two periods in hospital in 2009.

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