The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parrot spills love beans

London, Jan. 17: There were, to coin a phrase, three of them in the relationship ' plus a parrot called Ziggy.

For Chris Taylor, however, the only cloud on his horizon was that his girlfriend did not share his fondness for the eight-year-old African grey he had bought as a chick.

But if relations between Suzy Collins and Ziggy were always on the cool side, it seems fair to say that now they must be deep frozen after the parrot’s mimicry revealed the existence of Collins’s secret lover, known only as Gary.

At first, Taylor was amused when Ziggy started screeching “Hiya, Gary” everytime it heard Collins’s mobile phone ring.

He even saw the funny side when the parrot began making kissing noises when the same name was mentioned on television or radio.

But the truth finally dawned as the couple snuggled alongside one another on the sofa and Ziggy blurted out: “I love you, Gary” in her voice.

Collins, a call centre worker, broke down in tears and confessed to having a fling with a former colleague. Her confession not only ended their two-year relationship but also led Taylor to parting with his pet because it kept repeating the offending name.

He said yesterday: “I wasn’t sorry to see the back of Suzy after what she did but it really broke my heart to let Ziggy go. It was torture hearing him repeat that name over and over again.It feels like someone’s got it in for me because I’ve lost my girlfriend and my best mate at the same time.

“I didn’t want to believe it at first but when Ziggy said, ‘I love you, Gary’ in Suzy’s voice, it sent a chill down my spine.”

Taylor, a computer programmer, named the parrot after David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, and his pet learned to reproduce the line “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues!” from the Bowie song Let’s Dance.

The parrot also began imitating Taylor, his friends and household noises such as the doorbell and microwave.

But when Collins moved in a year ago, she was not so enthusiastic about Ziggy and the attention the pet was paid.

“Suzy never showed the slightest bit of interest in Ziggy. To be fair to her, you either like parrots or you don’t.

“At first, she didn’t mind me having one but over time she began to resent the time we spent together. She used to say I spent more time talking to Ziggy than I did to her and she often moaned that we never went out,” Taylor said.

“Ziggy was a really good mimic and he had Suzy down to a tee. Whenever he heard the name Gary on the telly he would start making these big, slurpy kissing sounds. I didn’t have a clue what he was trying to tell me. In fact I think I even joked to Suzy that he (Gary) must be her bit on the side.”

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