Bill Oddie Gatecrashes Unveiling Of Fortnum & Mason Christmas Window

For Immediate Release:
10 November 2011

Liane Eltan +44 (0) 207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – Beloved wildlife expert Bill Oddie made an unexpected appearance at the unveiling of Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas window dressed as Santa Claus to call on Fortnum & Mason to be good, for goodness’ sake, and stop selling foie gras. Oddie stunned shoppers and guests as he loudly explained that Fortnum & Mason pays producers in France to force-feed geese until their livers become grossly enlarged so that Fortnum & Mason can sell the “torture in a tin”. Oddie also delivered a bag of coal for Fortnum’s managing director, Beverley Aspinall, to whom he wrote in September after she ignorantly claimed that force-feeding geese was comparable to large birds’ swallowing fish in the wild.

“It’s not just ‘naughty’ for Fortnum & Mason to keep selling a product so cruel that it’s illegal to produce in the UK – it’s shameful”, says Oddie. “All I want for Christmas is for Fortnum & Mason to pull foie gras from its shelves, once and for all.”

To produce foie gras, pipes are shoved down the throats of geese and ducks several times a day. Grain and fat is pumped into the birds’ stomachs until their livers become diseased and swollen. Fortnum & Mason’s main competitors – Selfridges and Harvey Nichols – have stopped selling foie gras.

Oddie is one of a long list of prominent figures – including Sir Roger Moore, Ricky Gervais, the Duchess of Hamilton, Twiggy, Jenny Seagrove, Carley Stenson, Peter Egan and Owain Yeoman – who have appealed to Fortnum & Mason to pull foie gras from its shelves.