Ricky Whittle Poses In The Buff For Bears In New PETA

For Immediate Release:
5 April 2011

Sandra Smiley 0207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – Although he recently made a “ghostly” reappearance on the soap opera Hollyoaks, what Ricky Whittle is trying to scare up these days is a little compassion from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the Canadian black bears who are baited, shot and killed for the Buckingham Palace Guards’ caps. That’s why Whittle, who can be seen in the new BBC1 comedy Candy Cabs, was eager to take time out of his busy schedule to shoot a brand-new PETA ad that takes direct aim at the MoD for purchasing bear pelts to make headpieces for the five guards regiments. In the ad, which was shot by ace photographer Karl Grant, Whittle is naked except for a Queen’s Guard’s jacket slung over his shoulder and a faux-fur cap under his arm. The caption reads, “Fake, for the Bears’ Sake. The naked truth: bears suffer and die for The Queen’s Guards’ caps. Support the campaign to end this cruelty”.

“I was more than happy to bare all to help the bears”, says Whittle. “I’m sure the Guards are cool guys who aren’t down with killing bears for their caps. The ways in which these amazing animals are baited and gunned down is horrific and completely unnecessary in the 21st century. After all, the amazing faux fur that PETA has sourced is lighter and breathable – so you won’t have Guards passing out on parade during the hot weather! Come on, MoD – do the decent thing and go fake, for the bears’ sake.”

PETA US captured video footage of Canadian bears as they were killed by a method called “bait and shoot”, a cruel practice in which bears are lured to barrels of food and shot at close range. Many bears are shot several times, and some escape and die slowly from blood loss, gangrene, starvation or dehydration. When mother bears are killed, orphaned cubs are left behind to starve. Typically, 70 per cent of orphaned cubs die within one year.

Whittle joins a growing list of celebrities – including Ricky Gervais, Michael Sheen, Pamela Anderson, Kate Ford, Twiggy, Joss Stone and Sir Roger Moore – who have lent high-profile support to PETA’s campaign.

A high resolution copy of the ad is available here. Please clearly credit photographer Karl Grant.