ITV boss Peter Fincham said Britain’s Got Talent should have made it clearer that champion Jules O’Dwyer used a stunt double dog for her winning sketch.

More than 200 viewers have complained to communications watchdog Ofcom following the revelation and the show’s producers have apologised for not making it clearer to viewers – as well as the judges – that a lookalike dog was used to walk the parallel ropes.

Mr Fincham told campaign group the Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) that the way the act was presented was ‘a judgment call’.


Speaking at the VLV annual spring conference in central London, he said: “In the semi-final it was made quite clear the other dog played a role in it. In the audition it was made quite clear this was a dog act with a range of dogs. In hindsight, in the final it would have been better if that was clear.”

An Ofcom spokesman said it had received 206 complaints by Tuesday afternoon which will be assessed before a decision is taken on whether to investigate.

Last night Jules said she was ‘shocked and surprised’ by viewers’ reaction.

Britain's Got Talent

Jules and Matisse (Thames TV/SYCO/Tom Dymond)


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, said she did not use Matisse because he did not like heights.

She said: “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.”

She continued: “I introduced Chase in the semi-final, and I said Chase is Matisse’s best mate. Why put the pressure on the dog when I already have another dog who can perform it on television?”

Britain's Got Talent

Matisse (Thames TV/SYCO/Tom Dymond)


The sketch, which starred Jules as a policewoman going after ‘sausage thief’ Matisse, also featured another of her pets, three-legged Skippy.

Jules added: “I know my dogs, and I know what they are comfortable with. I’m not hiding anything. Skippy was a secret – I wanted to keep him a secret because that was the emotional factor and we hadn’t introduced him before.”

There was no sign of Chase, who had previously appeared in the semi-final, when Jules and Matisse took to 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.

Britain's Got Talent

Jules and Matisse (Thames TV/SYCO/Tom Dymond)


More than 13 million viewers watched Jules and Matisse become the second dog act to win Britain’s Got Talent, following Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey in 2012, in the highest rating final since that year.

ITV has released voting figures which showed Jules and Matisse won by just 2% – getting 22.6% of votes compared with 20.4% for magician Raven.

Outraged viewers claimed to be ‘misled’ over Matisse on the tightrope stunt.



But others described the furore as a storm in a teacup.


A spokesman for the producers of Britain’s Got Talent said: “The audience had previously seen from Jules’s 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’s 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.”