PETA Names the UK’s Top 5 Comedians Who Stand Up for Animals

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Cruelty to animals is no laughing matter. In time for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which once again plays host to some of the UK’s top comedy talent, PETA UK is naming our five favourite animal-friendly comedians who stand up for animals—both on-stage and off:

Ricky Gervais: When he’s not cracking up audiences, Gervais is picking cracks in animal exploitation. He teamed up with American rocker Pink to provide the voices for a PETA advert in which a computer-generated alligator and rabbit demand their skins back. He also sent a letter on our behalf urging then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown to immediately order the Ministry of Defence to stop commissioning the killing of Canadian black bears to make The Queen’s Guards’ caps. “The issue I am writing to you about today is not a laughing matter”, wrote Gervais. “I understand and appreciate the importance of uniforms, but continuing to use real fur in the 21st century is inexcusable, regardless of ‘tradition’.”

Russell Brand: On Allan Carr’s Summertime Spectacular in June, Brand – a vegetarian since the age of 14 and vegan since October 2011 – mused, “I don’t see why something’s life should end just so you can have a snack”. Brand famously became vegan after watching Forks Over Knives with then-wife Katy Perry, leading the star to tweet “I’m now vegan, goodbye eggs, hello Ellen”. Brand’s commitment to animal rights has earned him another honour – PETA UK’s sexiest vegetarian male in both 2006 and 2007.

John Bishop: Bishop stopped eating meat in 1985 after seeing a cow being slaughtered. He told an interviewer, “The cow was hanging up looking at me as if to say, ‘You did this'”. In May, Bishop teamed up with PETA to mark National Vegetarian Week with a billboard facing London’s iconic Borough Market with the message that “Chicks Love a Vegetarian”!


Bill Bailey: A supporter of International Animal Rescue, Bailey has been instrumental in the organisation’s campaign to liberate dancing bears and also campaigned against dog killings in Kerala with his Balinese Dingos, Bule and Teddi, who were brought back to the UK from an Indonesian rescue centre. Having being reunited with Teddi after the pooch went missing Bailey tweeted “thanks to the microchip Battersea were able to get in touch and tell us they had Teddi – every dog owner out there should get it done”.

Alan Davies: Davies – of Jonathan Creek and QI fame – is a passionate animal rights advocate. When he’s not performing at the Fringe he’s narrating hard-hitting video exposés, such as “Wasted Lives” about the carnage and suffering involved in animal experiments in the UK. In the film Davies notes “It’s crazy, but researchers try to recreate human problems in animals who never suffer from them”.


You can join these top stand-ups by in standing up for animals. Learn more about how to get active for animals.

Alan Davies image: Craig GroblerCC-BY-SA-3.0

Bill Bailey image: Nick Webb / CC-BY-SA-3.0


  • Brien Comerford commented on August 9, 2012 at 12:59 am

    I prefer Uk rock stars who stand up for animals.

    1) Paul McCartney
    2) Brian May
    3) Morrissey
    4) Jeff Beck
    5) Leona Lewis

    God bless them all !

    • Sonja Krzyzanowski commented on August 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      I totally agree. But it’s a bit of a stretch to describe Leona Lewis as a rock star.

    • Smoo commented on September 5, 2012 at 5:42 am

      To be honest , who cares what they do as long as they highlight the cause….

  • chad commented on August 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    hello there am sorry i’m posting this just it really upsets me to see this but a want to find out who this person is and brought to justice what a horrible person
    thank u xxx

  • bob commented on August 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    For goodness sake all these celebrates jumping on a bloody bandwagon

    • Victoria commented on September 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      I don’t see how it is a ‘bandwagon’ if celebrities have been doing it for years, they can bring a different attitude to a new audience and hold people’s attention.

      Better than the bandwagon of L’Oreal & P& G models not caring how things are produced, ‘stars’ like Jennifer Lopez, Rhianna and maybe Lady Gaga? wearing fur or snakeskins which are the products of widespread abuse and threat to species . Adocates like Joanna Lumley and Sir Roger Moore,also Martin shaw ought to receive more thanks for it though,they support a number of animal welfare issues, all better than the celebrity chef infatuation with foie gras and other cruel products…

  • Bonnie commented on September 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Celebrities who love animals are not jumping on a bandwagon, they’re exposing themselves to ridicule and hate mail – witness the backlash when Brian May played guitar at the Olympic closing ceremonies wearing the image of a fox on one sleeve and a badger on the other. He was standing up for animals and the farmers of the UK, who love fox hunting and badger-culling, gave him hell for it. So I say, hurray to all the famous people who put themselves out there to give animals a fighting chance.

  • Tracey commented on September 5, 2012 at 7:50 am

    As long as they are speaking out for animals i couldn’t give a shit what ‘Bandwagon’ they are on.

  • Tricia Clements commented on September 5, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Making contact with celebs is understandably difficult for the public so I am wondering if you can help in any way. I am writing a book on celebs and their rescued animals. The idea being to encourage the public (who love to slavishly follow) to adopt don’t buy. I have run a voluntary rescue for 27 years (see the above site). All I am asking for is a couple of paras and photos. Any revenue will go to the sanctuary. Brian May, Jilly Cooper and Richard Briers have already contributed along with a few others but I badly need more please.

  • Karen Rowberry commented on September 5, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I can’t believe there are miserable people out there who think that celebrity support of animal causes can do anything but good!! Suffering animals need all the exposure and human supporters they can possibly get. Personally as a life long animal rights campaigner and sometimes activist I consider all those who believe in animal liberation to be my brothers and sisters.

  • chander kumar soni commented on September 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    real comedy = cruelty free comedy.

  • mrs mccleary commented on September 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Bob, you’ve completely missed the point, you twit. The focus is on the animals not the celebrities. They are not jumping on a bandwagon.

  • Marta Falco Ainley commented on September 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    It is really positive that celebrities support bringing to attention the many cruelties done to animals.

  • Bill Park commented on September 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    It’s good that the people mentioned are advocating for animal welfare, but I couldn’t care less about the cult of the celebrity.

  • kasia skwarcan commented on September 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

    please keep up the good work for the most vulnerable creatures of this planet who get used abused deformed tortured mutilated hurt poisoned burned every second of a day for human profit. please help them and highlight the issues all the time. thanks for your work so far.

  • Victoria commented on October 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Not really about celebs but there is a campaign from the IDA to try to stop rescued primates staying rescued. I’m not an Amercan resident so can’t sign but please all those who can join in this fight for liberation from the torment.

    “Tell NIH: Chimpanzees Who Are “Retired” From The New Iberia Research Center Must Go To Sanctuaries, Not Other Labs

    Click here to speak up for these particular chimpanzees, then click here (U.S. residents only) to tell the U.S. Senate to help the other chimpanzees in laboratories

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that 110 chimpanzees from the New Iberia Research Center (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) would be “retired.” This is great news. However, only 10 of the chimpanzees will go to a sanctuary. The other 100 will be transferred to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) in San Antonio. TBRI has a record of poor primate care and was fined $25,714 by the USDA earlier this year for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

    According to NIH, the 100 chimpanzees going to TBRI cannot be used for “invasive” research. But they will still be housed in a laboratory with a questionable reputation, rather than a sanctuary as Congress mandated when it passed The Chimpanzee Health Improvement Maintenance and Protection Act (The CHIMP Act) in 2000.”

  • Victoria commented on October 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Unfortunately there is another U.S based petition that people in England can’t sign but any people in America who can ,and I’ms ure this is a good place to find an animal friendly crowd please do.The Humane Society has a campaign to stop mislabelling raccoon dog fur,this should help peopleo realise what they are wearing.

    Ask the FTC to require raccoon dog to be called “raccoon dog” on fur labels

  • Ray Wheeler commented on October 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Thankyou for all you do to save animals from being killed for no real reason ,please keep up the good work that your doing.
    those of you who wish to sign petitions that are US related,like for raccoons,wolves ,cougars, etc ,it is easy to do if you want to,i do it most days ..i am in the southeast of england and am into saving animals via this medium.

  • Lee commented on October 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    How can anyone think that celebs helping animals is a bad thing. At least these celebs are doing something good with there fame unlike so many other ones that are just in to themselves. Long may celebs do good for animals and reach out to people in away others can’t.

    • Amanda commented on October 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      I’m not particularly bothered WHO is against animal
      Cruelty… More concerned with WHAT gets done. Raising the profile is important, but it seems a shame that people can’t just support this from
      an ethical point of view, rather than justifying it through anyone famous who may have the same fundamental beliefs…I am hoping that some of the ‘celebrities’ would be supporting these campaigns whether famour or not.

  • Michelle commented on October 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    does it really matter who supports PETA, a rock star, a comedian, an actor! FFS get a grip whoever raises the causes profile is a great thing, not what career they have….

  • Vikas Jain commented on November 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Only one way to make a batter world is Save animal save humanity.

    We feel pain, these animals also feels the same.
    We human love our children,these animals also do the same.

    The difference is we human are selfish, money minded, cheap, but these
    animals do not have these qualities.

  • Olive McKinley commented on November 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Congratulations to all of you out there for all you do in every way for the animals.

    This morning I read the latest news from PETA and have not been able to sleep properly since then. I have known for many years there was frightful cruelty in this world but would very much like to make torturing and ill-treating animals a punishable offence in every country of the world, starting with those who should know better. I cannot understand why offences against animals, especially the most vulnerable ones, can go unpunished. It always seems as if we are helpless to bring the perpetrators justice. I do not believe we are. What do we fear? And if we suffer for it, better we do so than the innocent animals.

  • Olive McKinley commented on November 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    What does “awaiting moderation” mean here? If anything, I have been very gentle in view of the atrocities happening everywhere!

  • RUTH commented on November 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    All animals and creatures need all the help they can get from people what ever their status in life,at least we have a status and a life…people need to realise the importance of animals and learn how to love and respect them more!!

  • Tess commented on February 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Pain and fear are suffered by both man and animals alike, in exactly the same way.

  • Lisa fitzpatrick commented on August 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    It warms my heart when i learn of another celebrity who is wholly against animal abuse. You might not think it should matter if the message is spread by someone famous but the bottem line is, the public are interested in what celebrities say. Therefor, how fantastic is it that they are using their profile to help animals and working towards raising awareness of the continual abuse and torture of innocent creatures who have as much right to life as humans do?

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