The owner of the pet involved in the infamous ‘Freddie Starr ate my hamster’ headline has revealed what really happened, after the comedian recently died.
The Sun story from 1986 is one of the most famous tabloid headlines of all time, cementing Starr’s reputation as an unpredictably wild comedian.
Now Louise Fox, the former model who owned the pet hamster, has revealed what really happened when Starr made a ham(ster) sandwich while staying at the Liverpool home she shared with her fiancé.
Fox said: “It was my hamster. It was a long, long time ago and it’s not the same story that was printed in the paper.
“The thing was it arrived in the paper five years after the event and it was all misconstrued.
“He had the hamster in the sandwich but nobody ever said he ate it.
“There was nobody more shocked than me when that headline came out.
“He had been working in Wythenshawe and we had all been late back and he was nearly always hungry.
“He would often say “go and make me a butty” and this particular time I said “sod off go and make your own”.
“So he just went and got two big slices of bread, doorstop things, and buttered them and when he sat down on the settee he had the hamster between them.
“He did bite into the bread, but not the hamster. I was upset because the hamster was covered in butter which took two days for it to lick off.”
The pair were good friends in the 1980s, and Starr would stay at the model’s house while touring the North West as he didn’t like staying in hotels.
Now she feels the time is right to spill the beans on one of the most infamous newspaper stories ever, after the 76-year-old was found dead in his Spanish home on Thursday.
She said: “It’s sad about Freddie - we knew him very well.
“He use to come and stay with us and he was totally unpredictable and very energetic. You never knew what he was going to do next.
“We had brilliant times with him. He would stay with us when he was in Liverpool because he hated hotels.”
Fox, who’s stage name at the time was Lea La Selle, thinks the story was embellished by disgraced PR guru Max Clifford to help Starr’s ailing career, something Fox was not happy about. She explained: “Lea La Salle was my stage name back when I knew him and I was not always terribly happy with him in the years that followed about about what he said.
“I was very bitter about it and don’t think it did my career any good whatsoever.
“People would say I benefited hugely but I never did, but I think it may have rekindled his career. Max Clifford had a lot to do with that.
“I was modelling, doing all sorts of things like beauty contests in the 80s, and the publicity that arose from that story didn’t help because it was a bit detrimental to me.”
Despite the bitterness, Fox holds no hard feelings towards the comedian now, saying: “He was not a bad lad really, and it was quite sad the way things came about.
“He lit a lot of people’s faces up and was probably the funniest person many people had ever met.
“But I’m very sad for poor Freddie so it is all bitter sweet.”