Belfast Telegraph

BGT defends talking dog act

Britain's Got Talent has defended a talking dog act after it sparked dozens of complaints.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has now received 30 complaints, while ITV had another 35 about Miss Wendy, a dog which appeared to talk.

The RSPCA said that it would be contacting the ITV show to see what methods French ventriloquist Marc Metral had used on the animal.

But a spokeswoman for the talent show said: "During the audition process we consulted the RSPCA's guidelines for the welfare of performing animals and spoke to Marc in detail about his act.

"We are comfortable that Marc's act complies with the guidelines laid out by the RSPCA and we look forward to hearing from the RSPCA to talk through the methods used and precautions taken."

Metral also defended his methods, saying: "I've been working with Wendy since she was a puppy, training and caring for her for the last five years.

"She loves performing and I would never put her in a situation that would cause her distress. She gets excited when we go to work and is always comfortable on stage."

It later emerged that the dog appeared to talk thanks to a muzzle-like device, which was fitted shortly before she appeared on stage.

Britain's Got Talent attracted 10.1 million viewers, peaking with 11.3 million viewers on Saturday night.

Ofcom said that it would assess the complaints before deciding whether to investigate.

The RSPCA said it "would be very concerned if it became clear that Miss Wendy the dog was caused distress at any point".

A spokesman added: "We will be contacting the show to ascertain what methods were used and how they impacted on the dog.

"Distress could result from her being unable to breathe or pant properly whilst wearing a mask or muzzle on stage and in an environment which can get very warm, it is essential that panting is not restricted."


From Belfast Telegraph