Proud of our pets!
Just as much a part of the family as anyone else, we all love our pets, and celebs are just the same! 4 stars 'fess up...
Paul O’Grady & Olga
Comic genius-turned-national treasure Paul O’Grady is well-known for being an animal lover. “I’m very lucky,” the farm-residing TV presenter told Gay Times in 2011. “I’ve got every sodding animal I ever wanted – dogs, sheep, an owl…”
That said, Paul’s pride and joy is arguably his gorgeous Cairn Terrier, Olga. Following the death of his beloved Shih Tzu Buster of cancer in 2009, the For the Love of Dogs presenter paid £8,000 for rescue pup Olga to undergo chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with the same disease last year. “She has had her kidney out and is now on chemo. I don’t care what it costs, I would sell my house to pay for it.” The treatment was a success, with Paul admitting that nine-year-old Olga – a regular fixture on The Paul O’Grady Show – has been “flying around at the moment like a puppy” post-treatment. Glad to hear it, Paul!
Paul, on visiting Battersea Dogs’ Home to film For the Love of Dogs said, “It went in my contract – under no circumstances was I allowed to go home with anything: two-legged, four-legged, three-legged, anything. I knew it would be fatal. It’d be like putting an ex-drug addict in a cocaine factory.”
Claire Balding & Archie
Sports presenter extraordinaire Clare Balding has had many pets in her lifetime – so much so, she named her 2012 memoir My Animals and Other Family. In the book, the noted equestrian enthusiast said: “I believe that horses bring out the best in us. They judge us not by how we look, what we’re wearing or how powerful or rich we are, they judge us in terms of sensitivity, consistency, and patience. They demand standards of behaviour and levels of kindness that we, as humans, then strive to maintain.”
What’s more, Clare and her partner and broadcaster Alice Arnold can often be seen lovingly walking their pet dog Archie around their London neighbourhood. In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, Clare called Archie her most treasured possession, saying, “My possessions are all replaceable, but our dog, Archie, is not. He’s a black-and-white Tibetan terror and, despite his many faults, I adore him.” Bless!
Gok Wan & Dolly
Makeover prince Gok Wan credits his pet French Bulldog Dolly with helping him in his lifelong battle with OCD. The stylist said in a 2011 interview with The Mirror: “She’s changed my life, I’ve learnt to relax. Dolly has really helped me.”
“It’s amazing what she can do,” added Gok, who says he used to be obsessive about being a perfect TV presenter, as well as cleanliness in his home. “Now there’s dog hair everywhere. I could never have done it years ago, it just wouldn’t have been an option.”
Gok continued: “She’s literally the most spoilt canine in the world. She’s got a doggy passport, a doggy wardrobe and more toys than I ever could imagine. Where I live there’s a dog boutique – every time I go for a walk I lose a hundred quid!”
Alan Carr, Bev & Joyce
“I’ve become such a gay stereotype,” he said in 2011. “At least they’re big dogs. You’d expect a chihuahua to poke out of a cerise bum bag!” Alan added that when he encountered Graham Norton with his dogs in a park, Bev and Joyce jumped to their owner’s defence. “His dog ‘ggrrrrrs’ at Bev, and Bev goes ‘ggggrrraaah’. If there was a pap, they’d have taken a picture: it was like Celebrity Gay Dog Fight!”
As well as having his own line of animal products Alan also supports the work of animal welfare charity Peta – putting his face to their poster campaign to reduce animal homelessness. www.peta.org
by Jamie Taberer
Paul O'Grady: Channel 4
Clare Balding: Bill Waters
This article first printed in We Are Family Magaizne issue 6, spring 2014. Buy it here!