Doggy double walked tightrope for scaredy-cat Matisse

Blackpool-born Jules (Julie) O'Dwyer wins Britain's Got Talent with Matisse the border collie
Blackpool-born Jules (Julie) O'Dwyer wins Britain's Got Talent with Matisse the border collie
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The winner of Britain’s Got Talent has revealed that her beloved dog Matisse did not walk the tightrope on last night’s show - despite viewers thinking that he had.

Blackpool-born Jules O’Dwyer and her dancing dog Matisse took to the stage to be congratulated by the judges and hosts Ant and Dec after beating Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and magician Jamie Raven to the £250,000 prize.

This morning, Jules, who trains guide dogs in the Netherlands and lives in Belgium, told ITV’s Lorraine show that it was another dog - Chase - who walked the tightrope because Matisse is not keen on heights.

The sketch featured Jules dressed as a policewoman and going after Matisse, who had stolen sausages from a butcher, and also featured another of her pets, three-legged Skippy.

Viewers saw Matisse emerge back on to the stage after he appeared to have walked along parallel ropes, but it turned out that the second border collie had performed that part of the stunt - making a return to BGT after his semi final appearance last Tuesday.

Jules said: “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,” she said. “Every dog has a different character.”

She added: “The tightrope takes months of training. It takes a special rigging system. It takes professionals to help you.

“BGT were fabulous. Our team said what we needed to pull this off.”

Jules, who has had no sleep since her win, said of her dogs: “They’re really chilled. They’re very balanced and very happy.

“My only concerns are always my dogs. Are they happy? Are they content with working? It’s a circus for a dog... I was just focused on the dogs until the routine was done, then I relaxed.

“For them it’s just a series of one or two different actions that you build on slowly.”

She said that her win - which also includes a spot at this year’s Royal Variety Performance - would bring her financial security.

Britain’s Got Talent drew 13.4 million viewers last night, with the final becoming this year’s highest rating show on TV so far.