03 November 2017

From Maleficient, the sweetest goat you'll ever meet, to Uncle Walt, the duck inspired by Donald duck's creator, and the Geesetapo, Paul introduces you to some of the other waifs and strays he's picked up along the way.

Paul O'Grady with his goats

Rosie, Beebo and Maleficent

Although advised to buy a sofa when he first bought his house in the country, Paul instead made the sound investment of three young goats from a local farm. From the rather unimaginatively named Billy to the sweet-tempered Maleficent, Paul has raised goats for over 15 years, and admits that Billy even shared his bed in the early days. Maleficent is the tamest, and a dead ringer for Esmerelda's dancing goat in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She is named for her majestic horns, but Paul says he might have to consider calling her "cuddles" instead - she loves to be stroked! Rosie is a feisty female with a fondness  bossing around the other goats in the pen. And Beebo is a complete wuss who will run off in the opposite direction at the sight of a new visitor, though he can be won over with slices of white bread.

Squealer the pig

Squealer

Meet Squealer, one of the (many) piglets that Paul has raised over the years. Don't be fooled by the adorable exterior - she earned her name from the ear-piercing racket she makes whenever anyone attempts to pick her up. Said to be more intelligent than his dogs, Squealer is renowned for her Houdini routine, and escapes the field on a regular basis - much to Paul's dismay.

Dot the cow

Dot the cow

Paul has loved cows ever since he first encountered them as a child on his family's farm in rural Ireland. But that doesn't extend to allowing them inside the house. Imagine his surprise, then, when he entered his kitchen one morning to find this cheeky little face poking around the place! It turns out that Dot, one of his beloved cows, is an skilled jumper, and had vaulted the small wall surrounding his garden, let herself in through the kitchen door and gone to town on the smoked haddock next to the kitchen sink.

Who knew cows like to eat haddock?

Eddie the dog

Eddie

Paul is known for being a big old softie when it comes to his dogs, and little Eddie is no exception. Part Jack Russell, part Chihuahua (known as a Jack-chi or a Jackahuahua), Eddie was rescued from Battersea dogs home, where he was the runt of a lovely litter of pups. The rest of his brothers and sisters found loving homes and, on the last day of filming at the kennels, Paul couldn't possibly bear to leave him behind. Full of character, Eddie loves company - he likes to be carried around in Paul's coat, and will stand outside guests' bedroom door growling until they let him in. He has a fierce temper and is often called Eduardo or Edward - depending on what crime he's committed.

  • Paul O'Grady's Country Life

  • **THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER**

    Paul O'Grady's Country Life for the first time gives a glimpse into the home life of one of Britain’s best loved stars, alongside the animals he adores.

    Sometimes rural idyll, sometimes hell on earth, Paul’s life in rural Kent has been shared over the years with some very vocal pigs, a mad cow, various rescued barn owls, the world’s most sadistic geese and Christine the psychotic sheep – among many other animal waifs and strays. And of course Paul tells the stories of the dogs in his life – including the tiny chihuahua/Jack Russell cross with Napoleonic ambitions, Eddie, Miss Olga, Bullseye, Louis, Boycie and, of course, Buster, the greatest canine star since Lassie. In addition, Paul shares some of his favourite recipes, explores country lore and superstitions, and extols the benefits of growing your own vegetables, herbs and fruit.

    This is a warts-and-all account of country living, as far removed from the bright lights of celebrity as you could ever imagine. The trials and tribulations Paul experienced on moving to deepest darkest Kent as a dyed-in-the-wool city dweller are every bit as hilarious and eventful as you would think. He had a lot of new skills to learn, and fast: everything from how to churn your own butter and how to birth a lamb to the best way to lure a cow out of your kitchen while naked from the waist down.

    Brilliantly funny and full of classic stories, Paul O’Grady’s Country Life is your armchair guide to the wonders and horrors of rural existence.

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