September 21 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 1, 2014
As a Hollywood film star and comedy legend au fait with the red carpet, Ricky Gervais is used to posing with beautiful women for the camera – so by posing with a couple of lovely pooches, he seemed perfectly at home.
But an altruistic tweet asking his 5.7million Twitter followers if they could give the two strays a home backfired when the response from fans crashed a rescue charity’s website.
The star of Channel 4’s Derek and Muppets Most Wanted, who lives in Hampstead, posed with strays Bella, a boxer, and Wookie, a fluffy Pekinese-cross, in a Hampstead back garden to raise awareness of their plight.
But when 24,000 people visited the website of charity All Dogs Matter, which rescued the dogs, disaster struck.
“We asked him on the off-chance to have a photo taken with Bella,” said Ira Moss, general manager of All Dogs Matter.
“It was so exciting – but half an hour after he tweeted, the site crashed. We spent the whole weekend trying to get it back up.”
The charity’s website normally gets about 450 unique visitors in a day.
Bella and Wookie were found abandoned on the streets and were taken to an Enfield pound before they were rescued by All Dogs Matter.
If they had stayed in the pound for longer than seven days, they would have been put down.
But the charity found the dogs a foster carer in animal lover Angela Humphery – and it was her garden that Mr Gervais popped into to pose with the dogs.
Happily, All Dogs Matter has potential homes for both dogs, but no thanks to Mr Gervais, it would appear.
“We’ve got a possible home for Bella now with a lady from Muswell Hill, who saw her on our website – she didn’t have a clue who Ricky Gervais was,” Ms Moss added.