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BGT champ 'shocked' over reaction to stunt dog

Photo: ITV

Britain's Got Talent champion Jules O'Dwyer has said she is "shocked and surprised" by the public's reaction to her revelation that she used a stunt double dog for her winning sketch.

The guide dog trainer, who was born in Blackpool but now lives in Belgium who beat Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and magician Jamie Raven to the £250,000 prize with a sketch involving a tightrope and stolen sausages, told ITV's Lorraine show that another border collie - Chase - walked the parallel ropes in their act, because Matisse is not keen on heights.

Annoyed fans expressed their irritation on Twitter, saying that another dog had performed the trick which won them the show while a statement from the show's producers suggested the judges were also not aware that a second dog had been used for the trick.

O'Dwyer said: "I was surprised, I was shocked because I'm thinking 'Why?'. I spent so much time creating this lovely story - I wanted to make it exciting for the people watching. I wanted that 'wow' nail-biting element (where they're at) the edge of their seat, I wanted people to laugh so I wanted the comedy and the humour and then I wanted that 'awww'.

"I was disappointed when people said I allegedly hid Chase and I was trying to make it like Chase was Matisse. That's not so."

She continued: "I introduced Chase in the semi-final, and I said Chase is Matisse's best mate. Chase does the trick very well, Matisse prefers it lower but he's never been at that height. I have a choice: I have a dog that can do it at that height, or I have a dog I'd have to push in three days to achieve this.

"Why put the pressure on the dog, when I already have another dog who can perform it on television?"

The sketch, which starred O'Dwyer as a policewoman going after "sausage thief" Matisse, also featured another of her pets, three-legged Skippy.

Britain's Got Talent Final Credit: ITV

"The audience had previously seen from Jules's semi-final routine that she works with a second dog Chase alongside Matisse. For the final performance, as Jules has said publicly herself, Chase completed the tight-rope walking section of the act.

"During the competition viewers have seen that Jules's act involves a team of dogs, including Chase and Skippy, alongside starring dog Matisse, to perform her unique mixture of dog agility and story-telling. We are sorry if this was not made clearer to the judges and viewers at home during their final performance."

– BGT spokesperson