Britain’s Got Talent producers have apologised about the confusion surrounding the use of a dog stunt double in the series final after Jules O’Dwyer said she used a second dog to perform her winning tight-rope stunt.
A spokesman for the show’s producers said: “We are sorry if this was not made clearer to the judges and viewers at home during their final performance.”
Simon Cowell has reportedly ordered an investigation into why producers kept the public in the dark about the act, according to The Sun.
The winning sketch 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.
Viewers saw Matisse emerge back on to the stage after he appeared to have walked along parallel ropes, but it turned out that a second border collie had performed that part of the stunt.
O’Dwyer’s use of a second dog has caused outrage among Britain’s Got Talent fans, with many calling for Jules and Matisse to surrender their winning crown.
How can BGT allow a stunt double for the dog and try to hide it, shouldn't be allowed to be the winner!— Rachel Louise (@RachHarrison95) June 1, 2015
@itvthismorning I think they should step down and give it to the magic man— ANDREA FOREMAN (@honeypears) June 1, 2015
The dog trainer said she used another dog called Chase to walk the tightrope because Matisse is afraid of heights.
She told ITV’s Lorraine show: “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. Every dog has a different character.”
Britain's Got Talent past winners
Britain's Got Talent past winners
1/8 2014- Collabro
English boyband Collabro celebrate winning BGT with their musical theatre performances.
2/8 2013- Attraction
Hungarian shadow dance act Attraction won 2013's contest after a British-themed display including the voice of Winston Churchill. Cowell described their victory as "a bit of a surprise".
3/8 2012- Ashleigh and Pudsey
Ashleigh and her loveable dancing dog Pudsey met the Queen after winning 2012's Britain Got Talent. Simon Cowell loved this act so much he made Pudsey: The Movie.
4/8 2011 - Jai McDowall
Jai McDowall has faded into obscurity since winning Britain's Got Talent in 2011. He took victory from Ronan Parke but his subsequent career was short-lived after its debut solo album Believe failed to make an impact.
5/8 2010 - Spelbound
Another dance group followed Diversity in the form of Spelbound, who won in 2010. They became the first act to perform at the new Olympic Stadium and appeared twice at the closing ceremony. Many of the original members have since left.
6/8 2009 - Diversity
Diversity dance group took the Britain's Got Talent title in 2009 after a dramatic final showdown with singer Susan Boyle. Diversity have toured multiple times and performed at several high profile events since their triumph.
7/8 2008- George Sampson
George Sampson won Britain's Got Talent in 2008 after winning fans with his impressive dancing in the rain. The youngster, now 19, has since appeared on stage and in Natwest advertising campaigns. He made his cinema debut in Streetdance 3D and went on to star in Waterloo Road and Mount Pleasant.
8/8 2007 - Paul Potts
Paul Potts won over Simon Cowell with his rendition of Nessum Dorma and went on to become Britain's Got Talent's first victor. Potts has enjoyed a successful operatic career since the competition, with Harvey Weinstein even making a biopic of his life starring James Corden in the lead.
She added: “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.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for the producers of the show said: “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.”