A bit of a gay dog

Meet Coronation Street’s new pet

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 26 July 1964

THE three of us — Sandy, Gordon and me — stood at the bar. So I ordered halves of bitter all round.

“It has to be bitter for Sandy,” said Gordon Rollings. “He won’t look at anything else, you know.”

And before anyone could dispute the point Sandy gulped down his drink, licked up a couple of spilled drops from the counter, lolled out a red tongue hopefully and gave us a cheerful wag of his tail.

“Thirsty work, acting,” said Gordon, pushing Sandy’s nose out of his own beer. “Even for whippets.”

Gordon plays Charlie Moffitt, Minnie Caldwell’s lodger in Coronation Street.

Two men and a dog drink beer
Sandy the whippet is fond of a drop of bitter, as TV Times writer Brian Finch, left, discovered. Said Gordon Rollings, who appears in Coronation Street with Sandy: “He won’t look at anything else”

Sandy — alias Little Tich (his stage name), alias Dauntless Star or Dauntless Satellite (his professional racing names) — is that little whippet who steals so many scenes in the Rover’s Return.

‘The thing that bothers me,” said Gordon, looking at a sign which said no drinks would be served to young persons under 18, “is how the licensing laws affect whippets.

“I mean, Sandy is five years old. Does that mean he is drinking under age?

“He doesn’t belong to me,” said Gordon. “He is owned by Syd Roscoe, who has a garage just down the road from the studios.

“It seems that Sandy started drinking at a family party by helping himself to some beer.

“Never lost the taste for it. But it isn’t a problem with him, mind you. I mean, he doesn’t drink a lot.”

Sandy looked up at him winningly, but Gordon remained unmoved.

“One half of bitter is his ration,” he said severely.

In Coronation Street Sandy is a whippet with no talent for racing whatever.

“But he’s only acting,” said Gordon. “He has won more than 30 races.

“On one famous occasion they brought a ‘world-beater’ from Stoke-on-Trent to race against him. Sandy won by yards — and went home that night covered in lipstick from women who had congratulated him afterwards.”

“A bit of a gay dog,” I said.

Sandy looked at me appreciatively. Or was he just trying to get round me?

Gordon is no stranger to animals. He worked for a long time as a clown with a French circus.

At his home in London, Gordon keeps a cat, a dog, and a hamster named Rupert.

“The cat and dog are great friends,” said Gordon. “The cat washes the dog’s face every morning.”

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