Brian donates treasured emu given to him by Rod Hull

Brian Poulter at The Treehouse, in Ipswich, with the blue emu puppet

Brian Poulter with the 'spare' Emu, given to him by Rod Hull in the 1970s - Credit: EACH

A Suffolk man once gifted a mischievous emu puppet belonging to legendary puppeteer Rod Hull in a London car park has shared the story behind his charity donation.

Brian Poulter, from Capel St Mary, was given the emu by Mr Hull just after his infamous appearance on Michael Parkinson's show in 1976.

Emu repeatedly attacked Parky during the classic BBC programme, eventually causing the interviewer to fall off his chair. 

Afterwards, in the car park at Ealing film studios, he met Mr Poulter. 

“I worked for a garage equipment company at the time and was there servicing an air compressor,” said the 93-year-old Mr Poulter. 

“Rod came out into the car park and I recognised him straight away, because of his long, shaggy hair. He was a real character and well-known at the time. 

“He had another appointment to get to but one of the tyres on his car was flat. 

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“The breakdown company were going to be three-quarters of an hour so I offered to replace it for him. 

“Rod was very grateful and asked if I had a family. 

“When I told him I had three children, he said he always carried a spare emu in his boot and that he was giving it to me to say thank you.” 

Mr Poulter said he was ‘king of the castle’ when he got home that day - his children instantly fell in love with their new toy. 

But as they got older the emu was consigned to storage in the loft, where it has remained until now. 

Now nearly five decades on he has decided to donate the item to East Anglia Children's Hospice. 

“Hopefully it can raise money for EACH, which is such an important charity here in Suffolk and across East Anglia,” said Mr Poulter. 

Ali Lansdowne, EACH community fundraiser, said: “It’s such a great story and it was lovely meeting Brian. We’re extremely grateful for his kind donation. 

“The emu has clearly been well-loved and he has a very special personal connection to it, because of his children. 

“It will be used for fundraising purposes and all money raised will help us continue providing vital care and support for children, young people and families across East Anglia.”