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Wednesday, June 2, 1999 Published at 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK


Farewell to Fanny

Julian Clary: "I will miss her terribly"

Fanny the Wonderdog, the faithful furry sidekick to comedian Julian Clary, has died aged 19.

Clary's publicist said she passed away peacefully from old age on 27 May.

After spending many a memorable showbiz moment with his canine co-star Julian Clary said how sad he was that she had gone.

[ image: Julian Clary with Fanny]
Julian Clary with Fanny
"I shall miss her terribly, but her spirit will live on," he said.

That spirit will be remembered as the comedian's performing partner during his early live stand-up days as the Joan Collins Fan Club.

The whippet mongrel performed with Clary in all the major theatres. They included the London Palladium, Hackney Empire and Edinburgh Playhouse.

Stoical performance

Her most memorable act was her stoical acceptance of wearing a wig and being coaxed into doing "impressions".

But in 1987 it all became too much and Fanny stopped treading the boards to take her well-earned rest.

"For the last few years Fanny led a quiet life in Swindon, looked after by Julian's parents," said Clary's publicist.

She emerged for one last TV appearance in 1998 to greet her fans in ITV's In the Presence of Julian Clary.

The relationship between Clary and Fanny was a special one.

He believed her to be psychic, so instinctive was her understanding of his moods

But it was also a friendship that happened by chance on a visit to the South London Dogs' Home.

Special bond

Clary had not wanted a dog but decided to adopt Fanny after feeling an instant attraction between them.

"As soon as I saw Fanny, I knew I had to take her home. She was desperate, her eyes said: `Take me out of here'," he explained.

Once together, they were inseparable. "If I'm away from her too long, I pine," explained Clary of their relationship.

In the last few years, however, as his career progressed in TV, Clary had to face her absence from his side.

But though out of sight, Fanny was never out of his or many other people's minds.

Plaster casts of her were given away as booby prizes during Clary's spoof game show Sticky Moments.

Her loyal fans were always asking after her welfare and her death is unlikely to shake her memory from their minds.

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