Editor's letter (September 3 issue)

One of the more common questions I get asked as editor of this title is whether I can name any famous people who keep birds. Aside from the stock response of Geoff Capes, I’m usually at a loss.
We know that American actress Angelina Jolie reportedly keeps an African grey and only recently someone tipped me off that Craig Phillips, the chap that won the first Big Brother back in 2000, was looking to purchase an owl. (Craig who?)
A friend in Sydney recently emailed me to say that the Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees, had admitted on radio that he has kept parrots and lovebirds for most of his adult life. Apparently he made the admission when the presenter of the morning breakfast show confessed he was not going to allow his daughter to get a pet bird.
“I have a couple of little ones (budgies) on the nest at the moment, and if you’re interested they’ll be ready in four weeks – and I’ll throw in the cage,” the Premier reportedly said.
Now, I’m not sure what kind of popularity Mr Rees enjoys, but surely a man in his position endorsing the keeping of birds can only be a good thing. Of course, we know John Randall (Conservative MP for Uxbridge) keeps birds, having featured him in an article in these fair pages several years ago, but can you imagine how the profile of this hobby would be lifted if a Cabinet minister confessed he kept budgerigars or canaries? 
Better still, imagine if the Prime Minister came out and said he was building an aviary in the back of Number 10!
So, if you know anyone who could be a poster boy – or girl – for the hobby, do let us know. We birdkeepers need all the good publicity we can get...