Britain is known for being a nation of animal lovers, but has TV programming gone a bit barking mad?
Tonight marks the first British Animal Honours ceremony. The awards will be televised on ITV, which aims to “celebrate the achievements of the country’s most extraordinary animals and the people who work with them”- and it’s the dogs who come out top as the most awarded animal.
Haatchi, Hetty and Brin are awarded for (among other things) “thriving and making a difference to the lives of other animals” and “transforming someone’s life through their exemplary skills, loyalty and devotion.” And you thought Pride of Britain was bad.
It’s not the first time that ITV has pandered to the nation’s obsession with canines (and who can blame it when Fenton the dog gets 8 million views on YouTube). After Pudsey was crowned top dog on Britain’s Got Talent, we’ve had a number of television formats jumping on the dog-wagon, including That Dog Can Dance, Top Dog Model, The Secret Life of Dogs and For the Love of Dogs.
But canine companions aren’t just the thing ITV3 shows are made of. The Blue Peter dog has become a national institution, and Andrew Neil recently gave his golden retriever free reign of the This Week studio.
Fur enough? Or animal exploitation?