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Photo gallery: Bill Oddie rivals Dolly Parton as thousands flock to South End Green Festival 2014

Fans of the Fleet Hearts watch their performance on the stage. Picture: Polly Hancock Fans of the Fleet Hearts watch their performance on the stage. Picture: Polly Hancock

Monday, June 30, 2014
6:54 PM

Country star Dolly Parton may have taken the headlines with her Glastonbury set on Sunday, but revellers in South End Green were also enjoying the vocal talents of a living legend – veteran broadcaster Bill Oddie.

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The wildlife expert and former Goodie, 72, took to the stage with fellow local celebrity and top guitarist John Etheridge and band at the annual South End Green Festival on Sunday.

His renditions of Pennies From Heaven and Stormy Monday Blues were among the highlights of an afternoon of music, food and drink, packed stalls and fun and games that attracted thousands.

The naturalist and former Goodies star also sang at the festival in 2012.

Mr Etheridge said: “It’s quite a tradition. His voice is great – gruff and rather beautiful and actually very expressive.”

The guitarist – who rushed off to perform at a naturist jazz festival in Kent after his set – praised the stage and sound equipment, saying it was a big improvement on previous years.

“I enjoyed it very much,” he said. “The sound was so good and the audience response was great.”

Other acts included rock orchestra The 286 and Camden four-piece California Gypsies, while a dog show was staged by the charity All Dogs Matter, which rescues abandoned and stray canines.

Co-organiser Matt Leach, of Maryon Mews, who is chief executive of housing charity HACT, said the festival was a great success.

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