A paw-fectly pitched tale tugged at the nation’s heartstrings – and saw Blackpool-born dog trainer Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse scoop the Britain’s Got Talent crown.
The pair’s stunning performance in front of a live audience and millions of TV viewers in the final of the hit ITV talent show last night saw them act out a story of a pooch pilferer, stealing sausages from the butchers.
Matisse was the naughty street dog, captured by cop Jules.
And after evading capture, by walking an eight-foot high tightrope, he revealed his good reason for the theft… looking after his pal, three-legged dog Skippy.
All four judges – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – leapt to their feet after the routine – the last of the night – performed to a soundtrack of the Great Escape, the Benny Hill Theme and tear jerker Somewhere Only We Know.
And after a tense wait, the pair won the public vote and the competition.
It means Jules and Matisse have won a place to perform at this year’s Royal Variety Performance and £250,000.
They beat favourites Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and magician Jamie Raven to take the crown.
Comedian David Walliams said: “It was really fantastic, I loved the story telling.
“I always thought of myself as a cat person, but that was magical.”
Singer and presenter Amanda Holden described it as a “wonderful story” and admitted she was “crying her eyes out.”
“I honestly thought we’d seen the best of the best, but you just knocked it out of the park,” she added.
While Mr Nasty judge Simon Cowell recognised how hard they had worked to perfect the act, adding: “Maybe we just saved the best ‘til last.”
After being announced as the winner, stunned former St George’s High School pupil Jules said: “I’m going to have to buy a corgi!”
On ITV2’s Britain’s Got More Talent show, Jules said she hoped Matisse would get the drinks in to celebrate their win and that the money would give her financial security, as well as more time to enjoy her dogs.
‘Overwhelmed’ at the win, she added: “I can’t walk anywhere with this dog anymore, I think he needs body guards.”
In a video shown before the performance, Jules praised Matisse’s semi final performance from Tuesday with his ‘best friend’ Chase, in which the doggy duo told a tale of a toy maker.
“Since the semi final, he thinks the whole world revolves around him,” Jules said. “He’s wagging his tail, saying ‘Yes, it’s me’ and getting such a big head.”
Watching from home in Marton, dad Michael said it had been a tremendous night.
Speaking after the result last night, he said they’d been worried about the act, with the tightrope risk.
“It’s been a fantastic night, she’s worked so hard for this and training guide dogs and dogs for disabled people and has not made a lot of money from doing it,” he told The Gazette. “She’s suffered and fought for it and made a hobby of dancing with dogs.”