A PAIR of guinea pigs from Rolleston have found unlikely festive fame as the stars of a new Christmas book.
Doris and Wilma have taken on the most coveted nativity roles of Mary and Joseph in The Guinea Pig Nativity, which tells the traditional Christmas story with pictures of the popular pets.
And the duo are not only the stars of the book – they were responsible for it being made.
Proud owner Pauline Pidsley told the Mail: “My daughter used to work for Bloomsbury Publishing in London and kept a Christmas calendar on her desk.
“The month’s picture that was on display wasn’t very good so I sent her a picture of my guinea pigs with all the Christmas decorations around them.
“When her editor saw it, as he was walking by, he said what a brilliant idea it was for a nativity book featuring all guinea pigs and we went from there.”
The duo – along with Mrs Pidsley – had to travel from their home in Meadow View to London to take part in the photo shoot.
Special tiny versions of the Biblical costumes were made for the shoot, which also featured guinea pigs from London.
Mrs Pidsley said the pets took to the limelight like ducks for water.
She added: “Doris and Wilma absolutely loved going down to London for their photo shoot. Every time the camera clicked they made a purring noise.
“Guinea pigs are quite social creatures anyway and love the attention.”
The book was released in October, and, according to staff at Burton’s Waterstones store, it is quickly becoming a best-seller.
Doris and Wilma are due to make an appearance at the store from 4pm until 7pm on Thursday.
Copies will be available which have been ‘paw’ signed by the pets.