Britain's Got Talent found in breach of Ofcom over 'misleading' Jules and Matisse dog double

More than 1,000 people complained to the broadcasting watchdog about the use of a second 'stunt dog' in the winning act

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The Independent Culture

Britain’s Got Talent has been found to have breached the Ofcom code after controversy surrounding the use of a "dog double" by the show's winning act Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse.

The dog owner admitted after winning the series that she had used a second dog called Chase to perform the tightrope act instead of Matisse.

The admission caused a backlash from fans, with many calling from Jules and Matisse to surrender their crown.

Ofcom received 1,175 complaints following concerns viewers were misled by the winning act, forcing Britain's Got Talent producers to apologise for not making the “dog double” decision clearer.

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Matisse licking presenter Anthony McPartlin's face after the dog and Jules O'Dwyer won the live final of Britain's Got Talent

Ofcom has now confirmed the show breached rule 2.14, which states broadcasters must make sure viewers are not “materially misled” about any competition or voting.

The broadcasting watchdog said it was for ITV to decide whether to refund voters and re-run the vote.

 

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “After a detailed investigation, we found ITV broke broadcasting rules by misleading viewers during the series finale.

“We accepted ITV had no intention to deceive the audience. However, the presentation of the act did not make clear to viewers that a central part was performed by a second dog.

“Broadcasters inviting viewers to vote using premium rate numbers have a particular responsibility to ensure the audience is clear about what they are voting for. By failing to do so, we’ve concluded the presentation of the act was likely to have materially misled some people.”

Read more: Simon Cowell feels 'like an idiot' after Britain's Got Talent dog double
Jules O'Dwyer 'shocked' by public outrage at Matisse dog double scandal

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