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Anger after BGT winner Matisse revealed to have used 'stunt dog'

Jules and Matisse. Credit: ITV/ BGT

Viewers have reacted angrily after it emerged that the Britain's Got Talent winning dog did not perform a tightrope stunt in his winning routine.

Last night's final, won by Jules O'Dwyer and her border collie Matisse, drew 13.4 million viewers and became this year's highest rating TV show so far.

But O'Dwyer, who trains guide dogs, today revealed that it was another of her dogs - Chase - who walked the tightrope because Matisse is not keen on heights.

Chase did the tightrope walking. Credit: ITV/ BGT

The act featured O'Dwyer, dressed as a policewoman, going after Matisse, who had stolen sausages from a butcher, and also featured another of her pets, three-legged Skippy.

Watch the routine below.

The pair beat Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and magician Jamie Raven to the £250,000 prize.

There was no sign of Matisse's double, Chase, who had previously appeared in the semi-final when they appeared on stage after their win.

O'Dwyer told ITV show Lorraine: "Matisse is a little bit afraid of heights so, although he could physically do it, Chase is the dog who says 'I'm the action dog'.

"He plays the double for him," she said. "Every dog has a different character."

The tightrope takes months of training. It takes a special rigging system. It takes professionals to help you.

BGT were fabulous. Our team said what we needed to pull this off.

– Jules O'Dwyer

Annoyed fans expressed their irritation on Twitter, saying that another dog had performed the trick which won them the show.

It came as ITV released voting figures which showed O'Dwyer and Matisse won by just 2% - getting 22.6% of votes compared to 20.4% for magician Raven.

But others described the furore as a storm in a teacup.

O'Dwyer said that her win - which also includes a spot at this year's Royal Variety Performance - would bring her financial security.

She said that she worked for three months on the tightrope element of the final sketch, just "in case" they got through to the last night.

They're really chilled. They're very balanced and very happy.

My only concerns are always my dogs. Are they happy? Are they content with working? It's a circus for a dog ... I was just focused on the dogs until the routine was done, then I relaxed.

For them it's just a series of one or two different actions that you build on slowly

– Jules O'Dwyer

The producers of Britain's Got Talent have apologised for the fact it was not made clearer to viewers that Chase completed the tight-rope section of the act.

The audience had previously seen from Jules’ 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' 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.

– Spokesman for the producers of Britain's Got Talent