My biggest gaffe: Grappling with life-sized rabbits

Ruth Settle, director at Freuds, learned media requests involving giant rabbits are not always what they seem.

I sensed it wasn’t going to be my finest hour when I found myself in a lift remonstrating with a grown man dressed as a rabbit.

That wasn’t how it was meant to turn out when I agreed to an interview with a prestigious magazine for Live TV’s News Bunny. For the 60 million or so of you not glued to Kelvin MacKenzie’s upstart cable channel in the mid-1990s, the News Bunny was a runner in a rabbit suit whose job it was to stand behind the newsreader signifying good or bad news with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down gesture. I’m not making this up. 

In that context my job at Live –  PR’ing a gesticulating rabbit – didn’t seem so ridiculous. Still, it wasn’t the easiest gig. So when the call came from GQ requesting an interview I didn’t ask too many questions. But as the interview outside our Canary Wharf HQ began I watched with mounting alarm and incredulity as several giant rabbits appeared and started manhandling News Bunny before fighting their way into the building. 

Under strict instructions (there are no other kind) from Kelvin not to let News Bunny out of the building or reveal his true identity, I leapt into action to apprehend them as they made their way up to the studio.

It turns out the rabbit in the lift was actually comedian Mark Thomas and the whole thing was a set-up for a sketch in his comedy show where the Rabbit Liberation Army tried to kidnap the News Bunny.

The resulting CCTV footage made for hilarious reportage in the piece that made it on to prime time TV. An effective and humiliating lesson that if a media request seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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