One of Rod Hull's last surviving Emu puppets sells for £9,000 at auction

One of Rod Hull's last surviving Emu puppets has gone to live with Orville the Duck and George from Rainbow.

The puppet, which was made in the mid-to-late 1980s for TV production company Endemol, was bought at auction by the man behind CBBC's Hacker the Dog, the puppeteer Phil Fletcher.

Mr Fletcher, from Wigan, bid over the phone for the much-feared bird and paid £8,680 including buyer's premium when it went under the hammer at Chippenham Auction Rooms, in Wiltshire.

One of Rod Hull's last surviving Emu puppets has gone to live with Orville the Duck and George from Rainbow. Hull and Emu are pictured on the left with Bill Oddie on the 'Emu' in 1988

One of Rod Hull's last surviving Emu puppets has gone to live with Orville the Duck and George from Rainbow. Hull and Emu are pictured on the left with Bill Oddie on the 'Emu' in 1988

The puppet was originally forecast to sell for between £750 and £1,000.

Mr Fletcher, who also makes and collects puppets, said: "I'm 41 so I vividly remember seeing Emu on television when I was growing up.

"Rod Hull was one of the best puppeteers, but also criminally under-rated. Because audiences totally bought into the character of Emu, they forgot that Rod was operating him. He was brilliant."

He said the puppet will sit on the couch at his home in Wigan alongside George, the pink hippo from ITV's 1970s and 80s children's Rainbow.

Bafta-nominated Mr Fletcher has been operating

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