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Puppet who attacked host on sale

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“Whoever wants to buy it I wish them a very happy time together. I won’t be bidding. I really can’t afford it.”

Picture: Xinhua/Then Chih Wey zcc

EMU, Rod Hull’s puppet which famously attacked Michael Parkinson on his chat show, is up for sale.

The foam and straw creation could fetch up to R200 000. But Sir Michael said he will not be bidding for what he once called “that bloody bird”.

Emu lunged at him during an appearance on his show in 1976, grabbing him round the neck and causing him to fall off his chair.

It became one of the best-known clips from the long-running show, to its host’s chagrin. The broadcaster, 84, said last year: “I’ve been on television for 60 years now . . . and yet the only thing I’m really remembered for is being attacked by a bloody emu. That’s what they will put on my tombstone.’

Yesterday he said: “Whoever wants to buy it I wish them a very happy time together. I won’t be bidding. I really can’t afford it.”

Emu also gained notoriety for destroying the Queen Mother’s bouquet during the after-show line-up at the 1972 Royal Variety Performance. The puppet was one of only two made for Hull, the other being a back-up which was “never used”, according to London auction house Bonhams.

Keith Harris’ puppet Orville, the baby duck in a nappy, will also go under the hammer at Bonhams’ entertainment memorabilia sale on December 17. Orville and Emu have guide prices of R150 000 to R200 000.

Hull died aged 63 in 1999 after falling from the roof of his home in East Sussex while adjusting his TV aerial.

Harris died in 2015 aged 67.