Paul O’Grady and Billie Piper

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 9th, 2009

On Monday, March 2, 2009, I was a guest on The Paul O’Grady Show in London, England. My short four-minute appearance had been planned and in the works since October 2008. Therefore, the O’Grady producers were quite struck that on Friday, February 28th, the BBC had aired a short discussion about the Yeti by David Attenborough. Just a coincidence they said, and nothing copycat about it.

ITV-Channel 4’s website only allows viewers from the UK and some European markets, so Cryptomundian FMurphy used a camcorder to post the cryptozoology segment of the program to YouTube. Thanks to him, so this can be shared here.

I am shown holding Yeti and Bigfoot urethane casts, as created for me by William Dranginis.

Back stage, it was fun to meet and talk to actress Billie Piper, who was on after my part was finished.

Piper is best known for being Dr. Who’s sidekick on the long-running UK program, and starring in the current “Secret Diary” series screening on the Showtime Channel in America.

When I left the ITV Studios, I was happy to be the decoy as I walked to my waiting limo, to distract the 40 or so autograph hounds and fans, as Ms. Piper and her new baby Winston, plus her nanny, assistant, and publicist hurried out the side door to their stretch limo.

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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

10 Responses to “Paul O’Grady and Billie Piper”

  1. MonsterMash responds:

    Good for you, Loren. I hope more media appearances come from this.

  2. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Wow, you were very well received by the host and sidekick there.

    It was so encouraging to have a cryptozoologist treated with respect instead of derision. I was actually sad to see the interview end so abruptly when you had an eye witness to a cryptid sighting sitting there with you.

    That was a very positive interview Loren. Grats on the success there. Perhaps they will have you back and spend some additional time pursuing the topic.

    You must have been very pleased. BTW, Billie Piper looks like a stone cold fox.

  3. Strick responds:

    Hey Loren, I wish you’d have told us you were heading for the UK, I would have made the effort to turn out and see you. Are you safely back in Maine now, or are you still hanging out somewhere in this country? Am I too late?

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Well, Strick, I did announce it twice, lol, on here that I was going to be on the O’Grady program.

    I was only in the UK for three days, although travel days, because of the flight time and time zones, actually involved more days than that.

  5. wisaaka responds:

    Why dont you have a Monster Quest or Destination Truth type show? Is it a case of “the over-qualified never get the job”? Or have you been offered and turned it down for other reasons?

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    I’d have to say some assumptions about how these things line up may be a little off in the questions of wisaaka’s.

    Think about the hosts that quickly come to mind for cryptozoo-type shows: Josh Gates, Leonard Nimoy, Peter Graves. All have been actors who come to those programs with hosting talents.

    Remember that the days of the young Marlin Perkins on “Wild Kingdom” and the young Ivan Sanderson on “The Today Show” are mostly gone, and they were friendly “animal men” anyway, on general natural history, not cryptozoology shows.

    The only cz television jobs I’ve turned down have been ones in which the subject of cryptozoology was to be non-intellectually debunked harshly during the show or unkindly ridiculed during the program.

  7. cryptidsrus responds:

    You go a little TOO back aways, Loren.

    I remember “Wild Kingdom,” but I don’t remember a YOUNG Marlin Perkins. The Perkins I remember was an elderly gentleman with a neatly trimmed mustache and a high-pitched voice that is still evoked by imitators.

    I didn’t know “Wild Kingdom” went back that far back. Darn, you’re old, Loren. :).
    (That was a joke, Btw. I’m getting old, too.)
    Glad the show went well.

  8. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yep, I remember “Wild Kingdom,” quite well, with lots of personal feeling. Watching the show was always a focus of much discussion, as I was growing up in my Decatur, Illinois home.

    What is really scary is that I also recall Marlin Perkins from his earlier animal-related series, “Zoo Parade,” which he hosted from 1952 until 1957. It was broadcast from Chicago, since he was the Lincoln Park Zoo director there from 1944 until 1962. Of course, it was when Perkins was there that he joined Sir Edmund Hillary as the zoologist for Hillary’s 1960 Himalayan expedition (for the Chicago-based World Book) to search for the legendary Yeti.

    “Wild Kingdom” mostly came from the St. Louis Zoo, where Perkins had been hired as the director in 1962. “Wild Kingdom” was first broadcast by NBC, on Sundays, starting January 6, 1963.

    Perkins retired from active zookeeping in 1970 and from “Wild Kingdom” in 1985 for health reasons. Perkins remained with the Saint Louis Zoo as Director Emeritus until his death on June 14, 1986, when he died of cancer.

    I corresponded briefly with him and his wife about the Abominable Snowman and Perkins’s involvement in the 1960 expedition.

    Before my father died of cancer in December 1985, one of his last acts was to sign a copy of Perkins’ biography for me as a gift.

  9. wisaaka responds:

    ” I’d have to say some assumptions about how these things line up may be a little off in the questions of wisaaka’s.”
    I agree with you Mr. Coleman, to the extent of who has been the host of these topical shows. However, Im still pulling for you, hopefully you’ll have a decent televison gig.

  10. wisaaka responds:

    Hold the phone, I didnt mean to imply MonsterQuest and other shows youve been on arnt decent. In fact I rather enjoyed the Gators in the sewers episode, I just meant a fully show-hosting. …just to clarify.

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