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Britain's Got Talent 2015 winner Jules O'Dwyer 'shocked and surprised' by public outrage at Matisse dog double scandal

The dog trainer said she had already introduced border collie Chase, who performed the tight-rope stunt instead of Matisse, in the semi-final

Shereen Low
Thursday 04 June 2015 09:00 BST
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BGT 2015 winners Jules O'Dwyer and her dog Matisse
BGT 2015 winners Jules O'Dwyer and her dog Matisse (Dymond / Syco / Thames / Corbis)

Britain's Got Talent champion Jules O'Dwyer has said she is “shocked and surprised” by the public's reaction to her revelation that she used a stunt double dog for her winning sketch.

The guide dog trainer, who beat Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and magician Jamie Raven to the £250,000 prize with a sketch involving a tightrope and stolen sausages, told ITV's Lorraine show that another border collie - Chase - walked the parallel ropes in their act, because Matisse is not keen on heights.

Annoyed fans expressed their irritation on Twitter, saying that another dog had performed the trick which won them the show while a statement from the show's producers suggested the judges were also not aware that a second dog had been used for the trick.

O'Dwyer said: “I was surprised, I was shocked because I'm thinking 'Why?'. I spent so much time creating this lovely story - I wanted to make it exciting for the people watching. I wanted that 'wow' nail-biting element (where they're at) the edge of their seat, I wanted people to laugh so I wanted the comedy and the humour and then I wanted that 'awww'.

“I was disappointed when people said I allegedly hid Chase and I was trying to make it like Chase was Matisse. That's not so.”

Jules Odwyer with her talented dog Matisse (ITV)

She continued: “I introduced Chase in the semi-final, and I said Chase is Matisse's best mate. Chase does the trick very well, Matisse prefers it lower but he's never been at that height. I have a choice: I have a dog that can do it at that height, or I have a dog I'd have to push in three days to achieve this.

“Why put the pressure on the dog, when I already have another dog who can perform it on television?”

The sketch, which starred O'Dwyer as a policewoman going after “sausage thief” Matisse, also featured another of her pets, three-legged Skippy.

The dog trainer, originally from Blackpool but who now lives in Belgium, had earlier said on 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.”

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There was no sign of Chase, who had previously appeared in the semi-final, O'Dwyer and Matisse took the stage to be congratulated on their win by the judges and hosts Ant and Dec.

Their prize includes a spot at this year's Royal Variety Performance.

A spokesman for the producers of Britain's Got Talent 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.”

PA

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