ITV's 'Good Morning' hosts three UK fursuiters
[Ed, Ani and Dexy wave.]
Ruth: Now, they all belong to the subculture which is called the furry fandom. Now if you haven't heard ...
Eamonn [interrupts]: It's a subculture, not a fetish or anything, no, it's...
[Ed, Ani and Dexy shake heads, wave crossed paws.]
[Persistent lower-third caption appears: "We're grown adults but we dress up as animals."]
Eamonn: Oh, no, no, no, right.
Ruth: This is a community of people who all like to dress up as kind of animal alter egos.
[Ed, Ani, Dexy headshots, more waving.]
Eamonn: Yes. They may be fans of fur, but why do they do it? Well, here to tell us more - who would like to tell us what, er, furry, fu-*chuckles*
Ruth [pertly]: Furry fandom.
[Ed gives a muffled giggle, while Dexy shakes his head.]
Ruth: What does - well, let's ask Ani the Boxer Dog. What does furry fandom mean? What is it?
Ani: Uhm, furry fandom is just a group of people that, uh, like to dress up and create their own characters...
[Caption: "Ani Boxer - Chairman of the growing community, 'London Furs'"]
Eamonn [talking over]: OK, so you're telling me that in real life you, like, have a job, like a sensible job or whatever, and you'd go in, and uh...
Ani: Well, I couldn't be a boxer all day . . .
Eamonn: ...and your mates and friends know that in your down-time, you . . . this is you.
Ani: Pretty much, pretty much.
Eamonn: And they're cool with that.
Ani: Yeah, a lot of people are, uhm - some people, not so much, they think it's a bit strange; which it is, it's not the, the most, uh, standard hobby, I guess. Uhm...
Eamonn: You talk in your voice or you talk in animal voices?
Ani: It depends, really!
Ruth: So Ed the Poodle thinks that's very funny.
Ruth: So, Ed's not your real name.
Ed: No, he's a character, and that's kinda what it's all about, you're creating a character that you can...
[Caption: "Ed - Has enjoyed dressing as a poodle for the last three years."]
Ed: Uh, why not? I mean I'm already a dog; I mean, I might as well be a boy dog. It's just part of self-expression.
Ed: Everybody does it for different reasons, but you can go out and you can make people smile - I already work in cartoons, so I've grown up my whole life making characters, telling stories, and this is just an extension of making people happy!
Ruth: So Dexy, Dexy . . . we have to point out that Dexy is not just a fox, he's an Arctic Fox.
Dexy: Yeah, yeah - hence the white.
Ruth: Why did you...
Eamonn: Not so sure about the scarf you're wearing - is there any significance in that before we go any further?
Dexy: Umm, other than for fashion reasons, no.
Eamonn: No? That's OK, that's OK.
Ruth: It's not a football team.
[Ed and Dexy giggle.]
Ruth: And why did you choose a fox?
[Caption: "Dexy - Created his fox character over two years ago."]
Dexy: Umm . . . well, there's no real significance as to why I chose a fox. I chose an Arctic Fox 'cause when I designed my character, I got a template, and obviously it starts off white, and I have little-to-no artistic talent, so I kinda threw a bit of colour on, and I said "I'm calling it a day, it'll be an Arctic Fox", 'cause you know, they're great creatures, you know, they're really, uh...
Ruth: You look very nice. So, OK, so you've all chosen your characters, I get that. So what do you do when the furry fandoms meet up, what happens at these evenings, or...
Eamonn: Do you, like, sniff each other and things?
Ed [shaking head, laughing]: No!
Eamonn [disappointed]: No?
Ruth: What do you do, when you all get together?
Ed: Well, a lot of people actually, uh - the costumes are one part of it, but a huge part of it is celebrating art, and creativities...
[photo of three fursuiters: a red fox, Ani, and a white tiger with green paws and ears.]
Ed: ...so when we meet up, people can draw pictures, and there are charity events we do . . . I like to go out and, uh, you know, just entertain the public [wiggles paws], but I also have gone to different parties, and entertain people - and it's really what you want to make of it, is why it's special.
[Ani and Dexy nod.]
Eamonn: Yes, I see what you mean what you want to make of it, but it's more than the way people would dress up to do a charity run or whatever; it's um - so where is it different, to what... I mean you've brought it to...
Eamonn: It's a subculture, then, is that what, is...
Ani: Certainly it's a subculture, yes, but uhm, it's . . . we do so many everyday things that you would consider . . . you know, standard - we'd go for a walk around a park.
Ruth: Everyday things in . . . *waves at fursuits*
Dexy: No, not in fursuit.
[Picture of Ani holding a glass of red wine, with a fork in hand, in front of a plate of food.]
Ani: But, you know, the fandom isn't really uh, specifically just the fursuiting thing. Fursuiting is obviously what we're doing now.
Ruth: What sort of people are involved, tell us what you all do for jobs, and what kind of people.
Eamonn: Do you, do you have partners?
Ed: Yes! Yeah, yeah...
[Ani and Dexy nod.]
Ani: We have partners.
Ed: I actually met my partner at a LondonFur meet, and uh, we both just, I was interested in cosplay before this - I've always been interested in making cartoons and uh, basically it just seemed like a natural progression of that.
Ruth: And is your partner a dog, another dog?
Ed: No, he's a fox as well, but uh... an urban fox!
Eamonn: My wife's a fox, but that's a whole other story! [laughs] I'm just seeing what the reaction is to all of this. "Why can't adults dress up?" says Amanda Anderson, "We all get sick of adulting at times!" - so it's like that escapism.
Eamonn: Alex Bennet says "If they were in my house, they'd either get chewed or..."
[Ani shakes his head.]
Ruth [peeking over Eamonn's shoulder]: Ohh, steady.
Eamonn: Or - he has an excited Labrador, basically.
[Ed has hands over eyes.]
Eamonn: Alex Wilson: "I don't have the desire to do it myself, but we all do things that other people would find weird. Nothing wrong with this." Danny Thorpe: "The effort and skill some people put into making these costumes is amazing."
Ruth: The costumes are incredible.
Eamonn: They are incredible...
[Photo of a large assortment of fursuiters sitting and standing in front of a castle flying the Union Jack.]
Eamonn: ...and they're so clean, there's no - no knots in them, there's no stains, there's nothing...
Ani [unclear]: [Is?] that what you're on the lookout for?
Ed: Yeah - they do take a lot of, uh, a lot of TLC. I mean, they're quite expensive investments. People design them; every suit is unique...
[Ani and Dexy nod.]
Ed: ...you never see another one like it, and, uh - you know, you gotta take care of them as well! They're a long-term investment.
Eamonn: Ruth, do me a picture here, because this, uh, furry fandom thing, it might catch on. I wanna get in the middle...
[Ed nudges Ani, who along with Dex shuffles to either side to make room for Eamonn.]
Eamonn: Ruth, what sort of costume would I get?
Ruth: I think a big silver-back...
[Everyone laughs; fursuiters adopt classic spread paws pose on couch, with Eamonn smiling, his arm around Ed's back.]
Ruth: You think, maybe that would be yours? All right, smile everybody!
Ruth: Fur fandom rules.
Ruth: Very good.
Eamonn: What, were you painting that picture?
Eamonn: You're very happy, and thank you for making us all smile this morning.
Ani: Yeah, thank you very much indeed.
Ruth [to Eamonn]: You stay there. And now still to come... [intro to next segment]
[Fursuiters wave paws as theme tune rolls. Eamonn pats knees.]