Belfast Telegraph

Bill Oddie nearly died after drinking poison while filming The Real Marigold Hotel

Bird watcher Bill Oddie is just one of the famous faces taking part in the second season of The Real Marigold Hotel.

Bill Oddie narrowly avoided a fatal accident when he poisoned himself while filming The Real Marigold Hotel.

The 75-year-old bird watcher is one of the famous faces who travelled to India to film the second series of the BBC show, based on 2011 movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

As part of the show, Bill wanted to capture some of the wildlife in the city of Kochi, so got out his painting equipment and got to work. However, things nearly went horribly wrong when Bill ended up drinking some turpentine the waiter had delivered to wash his brushes - thinking it was water.

"I nearly killed myself after that painting thing," he recalled to the Daily Mirror newspaper. "At the beginning of the evening one of the guys knocked on the door and put what I thought was a glass of water by my bed but it was turps and I was drinking it. It could have killed me."

However, Bill was quick to realise there was something wrong with the 'water', and stopped drinking it.

"It was pretty horrifying that he thought the turps was water but thankfully Bill realised in time," a show insider told the publication.

The Real Marigold Hotel returns to TV screens on Wednesday night (15Feb17), with Bill joined by chef Rustie Lee, actors Paul Nicholas and Amanda Barrie, former snooker player Dennis Taylor, singer Sheila Ferguson and columnist Dr Miriam Stoppard.

Lionel Blair completes the line-up, but the 87-year-old entertainer didn't take to life as a retiree in India as he thought he would.

“I really thought it was a shanty town when I first got there,” he told HuffPostUK. “In fact, I got into the hotel on that first day, and asked, ‘Can I have my ticket please? I want to go home. This is not me at all.’”

However, bosses convinced Lionel to give the experience a chance, and by the end of the first week, he was in love with the country.

"I definitely went on a journey from hating it to loving it," he smiled. "Once we got into the swing of things, I realised it was quite marvellous. Every day something new happened that made it better.”

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