Paul O’Grady’s face was a picture when he saw the Jack Russell trot smartly into the studio. The wonderful O’Grady looked like he wanted to tuck the terrier under his jacket and smuggle him home.
The adorable little dog was Uggie, taking centre-stage on Graham Norton’s TV show to promote his newly-published memoirs. O'Grady was another of Norton's guests, along with Robbie Williams, Darcey Bussell and Felix Baumgarter.
Uggie, the Artist: My Story tells the tale of Uggie’s rise from abandoned puppy to Hollywood superstar. The book relates how he was discovered by his now owner and trainer Omar Von Muller and got his big break in the film Water for Elephants, starring alongside Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. Then came The Artist – and mega-stardom.
The book is selling like hot cakes right now and I’m thrilled because one of my closest friends helped Uggie to tell (I mean woof) his story.
Wendy Holden is a brilliant writer, whose 25 books include A Lotus Grows in the Mud, Goldie Hawn’s memoir, and Lady Blue Eyes, the autobiography of Frank Sinatra’s widow Barbara. She was so entranced by Uggie after seeing him in The Artist that she contacted Von Muller and suggested writing the book. The rest, as they say, is history.
As Wendy told USA Today: “There’s just something about Uggie. He was born to be a star. The fact he ended up being a dog is sort of by-the-by…”
So if you’re after a Christmas present for dog-loving friends, then Uggie, the Artist: My Story is just perfect. Look out for the Uggie the Artist app too.
PS. Going back to Paul O’Grady, he told chat show host Graham Norton that he loves dogs so much so that when he filmed For the Love of Dogs, his series about Battersea Dogs Home, he insisted on a ultra-strict clause being inserted in his 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,” says O’Grady.
It didn’t work, of course. At the end of filming O’Grady broke his own self-imposed rule and ended up adopting a chihuahua/Jack Russell cross called Eddie…