TV Highlights

What was on Wednesday 10th September

All Creatures Great and Stuffed

Channel 4 - 10pm

Who's in it?

An artist with a radio-controlled cat and a roadkill entrepreneur were among the enterprising eccentrics in this documentary about the surge of interest in contemporary taxidermy.

In a nutshell

Taxidermy is the new cupcakes. It's also the new cocktails-in-teacups, and the new posh hamburgers. What we're saying is, taxidermy is the latest must-have "thing" for hipsters the world over. And we do mean world – as this documentary made clear, quirky stuffed animals aren't the sole preserve of arty types in Brooklyn and East London. Even Arkansas is in on it, and the programme met up with a local businessman who's made a mint by freeze-drying people's dead pets. Including a Dalmatian called Precious.

Over in Holland, there was something rather more fascinating/disturbing than an embalmed dog: namely, a deceased cat that one chap decided to have a) stuffed and b) turned into a kind of remote controlled helicopter. Which is even creepier than what happened to that undead cat in Pet Sematary. Still, the documentary did give some air time to less-than-impressed onlookers who clearly want the taxidermists to get stuffed. Faced with a taxidermy shop in Blackburn, one disgruntled lady wondered why it couldn't have been a pound shop instead...

What's the verdict?

While flying cat corpses is probably taking things a bit far, some of the "creations" in this programme were actually pretty incredible. Especially the ones in that Blackburn shop, which were fashioned from roadkill. Waste not, want not.

4/5

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07-07-2011