Battle Over Famous Puppets
Keith Harris’ Orville and Rod Hull’s Emu are two of the most iconic puppets that many of us remember fondly from our childhood.
Now it seems the green duck and emu are entangled in a battle between their owner’s widows and a toy-maker, Roger Shaw, who seemingly borrowed them prior to the passing of Keith Harris and Rod Hull.
Mr Shaw, who alleges the birds were a gift, has since placed the two icons up for sale, expecting them to make up to £20,000.
Sarah Harris and Cher Hull, believe Mr Shaw was only loaned the birds, and they are both “determined to have the birds returned to their rightful owners.”
Mrs Harris, claims Mr Shaw was loaned Orville the green duck so he could copy him, and sell the copies. He had to return the original to the Harris family.
A similar arrangement is said to have been made with regards to Emu and the Hull family.
Mrs Harris said:
“I had always presumed Orville had been returned to Keith’s management firm for safe keeping. With Keith’s illness and death, the true whereabouts never emerged.
“That was until I heard that Roger Shaw was selling our Orville at auction. I was totally shocked. You don’t give away part of your family. Keith and I felt that way about Orville.”
With regards to Emu, Mrs Hull claims that:
“There is no way he’d [Rod Hull] have given him Emu for keeps.
“And after Mr Shaw had made the small copies, we asked him to send the original to Rod’s agent at International Artists.”
The sale has been temporarily delayed, as the identity of the birds true owners is discovered.
Nick Thomas, Director of International Artists Ltd, the agency who represented both Mr Harris and Mr Hull, commented:
“I do not believe that Mr Shaw has legal title to these puppets, which should be returned to the respective estates.”
Mr Harris passed away in 2015, whilst Mr Hull passed in 1999.