The presenter, 73, offered his view on on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live during a debate entitled “Is the UK too hostile to immigration?”
“There should just as likely be a restriction on the number of children that British people have because over-population is what you are talking about here, the big problem,” he said.
“So you say these perfectly well-qualified people can’t come in, but the woman down the road has just had her tenth baby.
“Well I’m sorry, but they are the people that really should be contained. It would make a difference.”
His comments recall Chinese authoritarian quota laws, first introduced in 1979, which banned Chinese families from having more than one child until earlier this year. According to new legislation, some couples are now allowed to have two children.
Oddie – who is known as a conservationist and a wildlife television presenter – also said he was “ashamed” to be British and described the nation as a “terrible race”.
“Historically, we seem to have built up this ridiculous idea that: ‘Oh, we are British, this is our island and we don’t want anybody else in it’.
“I personally loathe that kind of chauvinism and I’m happy to say I’m not proud to be British. In fact, I’m very often ashamed to be British,” he said.
“We are a terrible race, all the hooliganism and God knows what…”
However, he doesn’t dislike the country enough to leave it. When asked by presenter Sian Williams whether his views might prompt him to exit Britain, he told her that she was “talking like Ukip. For God’s sake, shut up!”
“I love the fact that I walk down the road in north London and down here’s an Indian shop and there’s another Indian stationers there and this one is run by someone from Iran and there’s a West Indian guy who runs that bit and we’ve got the Romanian builders next door who don’t play the radio as loud as English builders,” he said.Reuse content