Celebrity animal charity patron Martin Clunes, off of the telly, has been dropped as useful personality message-enforcer by wildlife welfare group Born Free, after he just couldn't resist having a quick go on an elephant when the opportunity presented itself.
Clunes was off on a reportage jolly to film ITV series My Travels And Other Animals, where he goes about the world being nice to interesting people and asking about their often strange and slightly overbearing relationships with animals. The episode in question can be viewed on ITV Hub, if you can remember what password you used when signing up for it to watch the World Cup, and shows Clunes using the elephant's trunk as a step and its ears as handles to clamber up over its head. The elephant probably doesn't mind or get hurt, but it does look quite bad. Ears are not handles, Martin, as you of all people should know.
Born Free's Howard Jones therefore had to say: "We can confirm that, with much regret, Martin Clunes is no longer a patron. Born Free has always been opposed to the exploitation of captive wild animals for entertainment and human interactions, including riding elephants." [Sky News]