Britain's Got Talent winner 'overwhelmed' by support
Monday 14 May 2012
Britain's Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler said today she felt “overwhelmed” by support from the public after she and her dog Pudsey triumphed in the live final of the competition.
The 17-year-old said it was a "complete shock" when they were announced winners of the ITV show, beating favourites Jonathan and Charlotte.
"I am overwhelmed by the support that we have received from everyone and we both say a massive 'thank you' to everyone who picked up the phone for us and voted," she told ITV Daybreak.
"Our goal was to get into the final and when we were the last two, with Jonathan and Charlotte, I honestly thought they had won it. I was preparing myself to jump on them and congratulate them. So it was a complete shock when our names were called out," she said.
She said Pudsey was enjoying his new-found fame.
"He is loving it. The more attention he gets, the more he loves it.
"He is a bit tired at the moment, so I think he needs just a good couple of days' rest. But he is brilliant."
Speaking on Daybreak, Ashleigh denied a series of reports about Pudsey including claims that he now has three security guards and is insured for £1 million.
But asked whether the dog had been offered a book deal, she said "maybe". She added that "nothing" was confirmed yet in relation to any offers for a dog food advert.
She also confirmed that Pudsey was "in love" with a cocker spaniel called Sam.
The teenager and her pet are now preparing to entertain the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance after they were crowned winners of the show on Saturday night.
They charmed viewers with their fast-footed routine to the Mission Impossible theme to take home the £500,000 prize.
Ashleigh, from Northampton, was in tears when presenters Ant and Dec broke the news.
Pudsey - a border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross - obviously won over fearsome judge Simon Cowell, who admitted he has a soft spot for dogs.
He said the pair were one of his "favourite ever acts".
After their performance, he joked: "I actually think Pudsey is training you now.
"I adore both of you. You have got better and better as the competition has progressed and to do what you did in such a short time is a miracle."
Comedian panellist David Walliams told the teenager: "I don't know how long it takes to train Pudsey but it is the third original act we have seen from you which is extraordinary.
"The nation has fallen in love, not just with Pudsey but with you too."
Ashleigh joked that Pudsey had become "very diva-ish" during the last week, demanding steak dinners.
The pair beat off stiff competition from dance troupes, synchronised swimmers and a Welsh choir.
Their win came as a shock to bookies who placed pop-opera duo Jonathan and Charlotte, aged 17 and 16 respectively, as the hot favourites.
The teenagers, from Ilford, Essex, came in second place after their "sensational" performance of The Prayer.
The duo stuck together despite Cowell suggesting Jonathan should go solo during their first audition.
Walliams told them: "That was sensational. That was your best performance yet, it was so heartfelt, it was so professional."
Welsh boys choir Only Boys Aloud came in third place after their rendition of Calon Lan.
The 133-strong choir consistently wowed the judges throughout the contest with their renditions of traditional anthems.
Judge Alesha Dixon, who was sporting a see-through floor length gown over a shimmering leotard, told the boys, aged 14 to 19, that they gave a passionate performance.
She said: "That was a really special moment. I could feel the passion coming from every single one of you.
"I commend each and every one of you and I am so glad that once again you chose to stick to your tradition and sing something Welsh."
Cowell joked: "This is why I love this show because I got emotional listening to a song that I didn't understand a word of it.
"But I could tell how much it means to every one of you individually. Every single one of you gave it 100%."
Boy band The Mend kicked off the show after being voted back on as the wildcard.
Amanda Holden said their version of the David Guetta and Usher track Without You was "fantastic".
The judge gave the panel an air of Hollywood glamour with her curled locks tied up and a figure-hugging fish-tail ivory gown.
Other acts which made the final included singers Sam Kelly and Ryan O'Shaugnessy, synchronised swimmers Aquabatique and Welsh dance group Nu Sxool.
Youngster Molly Rainford also impressed the audience with her rendition of Ava Maria.
The 11-year-old told Ant and Dec it felt like a "dream come true" to perform on the show.
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