Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hidebound Burns Is Good for the Cause

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hidebound Burns Is Good for the Cause

Article excerpt


WHATEVER you think of his taste in coats, tights and lip transplants, Pete Burns is the perfect Big Brother contestant. Rude, lewd and just the right side of bonkers, he makes brilliant viewing. Everyone should have a trannie in their life - if only from the safe distance of the television.

If American Vogue's Anna Wintour ever felt like stepping down from her throne, Pete Burns would make an excellent replacement. Like Wintour, he loves fur, hates flat shoes and is never seen without full makeup.

Just like Wintour, it's this love of fur that has got him into trouble. The story so far: Burns parades around the house in a coat that he believes to be made of gorilla fur. Jodie Marsh calls him a murderer.

The two fall out deeply and unpleasantly, making much great viewing.

Meanwhile, the internet hums with rumours that Burns will be arrested upon his eviction, for wearing the hide of an animal that is an endangered species.

I couldn't let my love of Pete be dimmed by vicious rumours, and so I set out to unearth the truth. Kate Moss was wrongly accredited with wearing a "monkey fur" coat a few years ago; it actually turned out to be simply longhaired goat skin. Could Pete stand wrongly accused?

According to the International Primate Protection League, The Coat was not a gorilla's: it was a colobus monkey's. They can't be sure without a sample, but the pigmentation and length of hide is sufficiently similar for them to make an educated guess. Monkey lovers might like to know that the colobus is native to the treetops of remote African forests, and, if they're not made into coats, tend to enjoy a lifespan of 30 years. But stop me if I'm boring you.

As for whether Burns will be arrested, don't hold the front page. Conviction would be contingent on the court being able to prove he was knowingly wearing a coat purchased after 1950, the year when the colobus monkey was declared an endangered species. Since he alleges that his boyfriend bought it from a secondhand shop, proving anything would be nigh on impossible.

The stance taken by Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is surprisingly magnanimous. …

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