BGT winner 'overwhelmed' by support
Britain's Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler has said 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."