Extremists attack Fat Lady's shop

TWO Fat Ladies star Clarissa Dickson Wright’s shop in the Grassmarket has been vandalised by animal rights extremists.

Stickers with the words "Animal Abuser" and a picture of an animal’s body torn to pieces have been plastered on the front of her Cook’s Bookshop.

Her outspoken views in support of fox hunting have made her a target for animal rights extremists in the past but this is the first time her shop in the Capital has been vandalised.

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About a dozen stickers were plastered over the shop in the attack, which happened between Sunday night and Monday morning.

No group has claimed responsibility for the vandalism, which is believed to have been the work of a group of animal rights activists operating independently from any known organisation.

Ms Dickson Wright was unable to comment on the vandalism today as she is busy filming for a new series of her TV show for the BBC. But an assistant at the shop today branded the attack as "cowardly".

The assistant added: "It is a sad person that did this. They think because we support hunting we are mad and bad. I am not in the least bit intimidated by this. I have removed the stickers, which numbered around a dozen.

"Whoever did this with the stickers did it in the middle of the night when no one could catch them at it. It was just cowardly."

Ms Dickson Wright has faced constant threats from animal rights activists since she became a figurehead for the pro-hunting lobby. During a tour in 2000 to promote her book Clarissa and the Countryman, written with Borders landowner Sir John Scott, she was sprayed with red paint by animal rights activists.

Another book signing had to be cancelled after animal rights protesters threatened to bomb a bookshop. While filming the TV series of the same name, she required round-the-clock security after death threats were made against her.

In the series she expressed strong support for foxhunting, which earned her a reprimand from TV watchdogs for expressing political views. The controversial programme featured the cook taking part in various blood sports including deer hunting on Mull, grouse shooting in Wales and fox hunting in the Cheviots. And it was while she was hare coursing on the Wirral that animal rights protesters hurled threats at the 55-year-old star.

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Fellow traders in the Grassmarket today expressed support for Ms Dickson Wright after the attack on her shop. Matt Dale, of the Grassmarket Traders Association, said: "Hopefully this is a one-off and we won’t see this type of thing raising its head in the Grassmarket. We’ve dealt with issues of graffiti in the area in the past, but this is the first time I’ve known vandalism to be personal.

"People are entitled to have their say on any issue but there are better ways of doing it than causing this kind of nuisance."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said that the vandalism at her shop in the Grassmarket had not been reported to them.