Interview from Scottish Sun, week ending 6th February 1994
Billy MacKenzie has enjoyed Top 20 success with Scots band The Associates - but it's his DOGS that are treated like stars.

The singer, who had hits with Party Fears Two and Club Country, has kept racing dogs for 25 years.

Dundee-born Billy caught the bug at the age of 11 and confessed: "They travel all over with me. If I go to the studio, they come with me. They stay with me in London. The dogs used to go to hotels with me when I videoed Top of the Pops. They just love the lifestyle on tour - they lap up all the attention."

Billy - who has just reformed his chart-busting band - is still a well-known face on the whippet-racing circuit despite a hectic singing schedule all over Europe.

He said: "Unlike greyhound racing betting's not allowed. That's because we still regard them as pets rather than money-making machines. I don't really approve of the greyhound world."

The star has bred three Racing Champions including 1990 winner Magic Trick.

He boasted: "She was the Flo-Jo of that year - a real superstar among whippets! You meet people from all walks of life. I have met a lot more characters in the whippet racing world who interest me than in rock music!"

Billy's not just obsessed with dogs - there are peacocks, parrots, racing pigeons and a cat all battling for space at his home.

The only drawback is that his mutts have become bigger stars than their owner.

He said: "They've been on videos and made cameo appearances on my record sleeves. If I have not got a dog with me people will ask me where they are. George Michael has seen them and asked for advice about his Labrador Hippy. I told him not to feed him any kebabs!"

Billy's whippets are helping him limber up for a fresh assault on the pop world.

He admitted: "It's a great way of keeping fit. I don't like going to the gym but I'm always taking my dogs up the hills for plenty of walks. I'm all for the Scottish Sun's get-fit campaign. I got sick of the washed-out London rock star look a long time ago!"