When Pudsey, a cute little dog, and his owner Ashleigh Butler first auditioned for Britain's Got Talent, we did not need Simon Cowell or any of the other judges to tell us there was something endearing and delightful about their act. The fact, therefore, they have won Britain's Got Talent, have been awarded £500,000 and been given the chance to perform before the Queen, for the Royal Variety Show, comes as no big surprise.
Butler and Pudsey beat out 11 other talented contestants (from an enormous 70,000-strong shortlist) to claim the prizes. Their final routine was set to a track from Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible franchise of films.
"I couldn't believe it when they called our names. Quite a few people came up to me afterwards and said they cried when they watched us on stage, I know Amanda and Alesha (judges Holden and Dixon, respectively) were in tears and my mum was in bits. I couldn't stop crying - it hasn't really sunk in yet. We were whisked away after the show to do interviews and photos, but I know that Simon Cowell really wanted to have his picture taken with Pudsey. But Pudsey kept Simon Cowell waiting - I can't honestly believe that!" Butler told the Daily Mail.
"I started training Pudsey in agility from 12 months and he's been doing canine freestyle since he was three. He's still so young and absolutely loves training and performing. If we don't do anything for the day he runs around as if he's saying, "Come on, come on, let's go". He slept in bed with me and I woke up before him. I was prodding him saying, "Come on, Pudsey, wake up" - he was so tired!" Butler said.
One needs hardly add Pudsey is now a big celebrity. He is estimated to be worth £10mn, he has his own passport, travels in Cowell's private jet and has security guards. In addition, he even has his name trademarked by Cowell's company.
"If as expected he continues to work for five years, he will pull in an estimated £5mn in personal appearances at £25,000 a time, plus film work, book deals, newspaper columns and merchandising including cuddly toys, posters and T-shirts. That makes him worth many times his own weight in gold which, since he weighs 22lb, is about £320,000," reports the Daily Mail.