‘Squirrel house fire’ man Alby Tebbutt goes global after live US radio interview

Would-be squirrel assassin Alby Tebbutt

Would-be squirrel assassin Alby Tebbutt - Credit: Archant

You heard it here first. A week after the Recorder broke the news that a squirrel had made light work of Alby Tebbutt’s garage, the ex-councillor has been taking the world by storm.

Mr Tebbutt, 73, has since been featured in the Metro, London Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror newspapers.

And it’s not just British audiences who’ve gone nuts for his story – Mr Tebbutt also found himself reciting it to American listeners on Wednesday afternoon as Chicago radio station WGN interviewed him live on air.

By the sounds of things he went down a treat.

“Normally they ask questions on the radio, but I did all the talking – because they couldn’t stop laughing,” Mr Tebbutt admitted to the Recorder after speaking to host Jonathon Brandmeier.

“They introduced me as ‘Alby Tebbutt from Romford, England, who’s going to kill every squirrel in the world.’

“I said: ‘Let’s get one thing straight. I only want to kill grey squirrels, not the red ones.

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“I’ve been told I can shoot them but I’m not allowed to cause them suffering, so I can’t shoot them up the backside.

“If this was America I could use a machine gun.”

The show’s Mike Michalski told the Recorder after the show: “Alby is great radio.

“He’s got passion and a purpose. We’re keeping him on file and plan on calling him in the future – we just don’t know when yet. It could be tomorrow if we get a lot of voicemails about his segment.”

The story also made it onto New York’s Huffington Post website, which is read by millions of people across the world.

Mr Tebbutt was returning from a burial in Romford earlier this month when he received a phone call to say his garage was on fire.

When he realised it wasn’t a hoax, the panicked former Tory chairman instructed the driver of the funeral car to leave the procession and take him – along with a number of the deceased’s family members – to his house in Main Road.

Shortly afterward, a fire brigade investigation concluded that the fire – which has cost Mr Tebbutt upwards of £20,000 – had been started by a bite-size rodent taking a chunk out of the wiring.

Exasperated, Mr Tebbutt has vowed to kill every grey squirrel in his garden on sight.