Things that go cheep in the night

SIOBHAN DOLAN
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The Independent Culture
After the self-indulgent nonsense of Baby Monthly - all womb music and organic nappies - it is a considerable relief to find parents who can simply ignore the cameras and get on with the job. The fact that they're also cute and fluffy only adds to the attraction, and this year's "Bird In The Nest" (from today BBC1) cannot fail to match the success of its run 12 months ago.

Put a camera in a nest and watch. It is simple (don't anyone dare say cheep) television, yet captivating none the less. For the 13 great tit chicks squeezed into their box, just three things are certain - life, death and caterpillars, brought home by their parents at the incredible rate of 650 visits each day. Meanwhile, on a mountain ledge, a young peregrine falcon tries to summon up the courage to go off the edge for the first time.

Back at base, inevitably, is Bill Oddie, who long ago abandoned the cutting edge of comedy - a wise move, as anyone who has seen the Goodies re-runs on UK Gold will affirm - to be the Beeb's celebrity birdman. Morning, noon and night, Bill, together with RSPB expert Peter Holden, will be passing on reports from five sites with his usual, irresistible enthusiasm, as the tits, falcons, woodpeckers, starlings and owls go about their business: "If viewers enjoy it half as much as I do I'm sure they'll have a good time..."

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