The dog that won Britain’s Got Talent last night was replaced by a look-alike stunt double for the highlight of his daring performance, The Daily Mail reports.
In a shock revelation, Matisse was replaced for the show-stopping tight-rope trick by another dog, which was not mentioned on the show.
His owner Jules O’Dwyer revealed today that Matisse was unable to pull off the daring stunt because he is “afraid of heights” and was replaced by another dog, called Chase.
Jules and Matisse won the nation’s hearts with their performance which was rounded off by what appeared to be Matisse taking on the high rope. But their victory was mired in controversy today as Jules revealed on ITV’s Lorraine that Chase performed during the finale.
She said: “Matisse is a little bit afraid of heights so although he could officially do it, Chase is the action dog, so he plays the double for him.”
The act won the judges over and the pair were given £250,000 and a chance to star in the Royal Variety performance after narrowly beating favourites choir Cor Glanaethwaym and runner-up magician Jamie Raven.
Furious viewers vented their anger on Twitter after discovering Matisse had been replaced by a stunt dog. Fiona Fairbairn wrote: “So it turns out the dog on the tightrope was a double for Matisse on #BGT?! Basically conning the public!!! Shameful!”
Carrie Rose tweeted: “So just found out that Jules and Matisse was fake!! it was a stunt dog who did the tight ropes!!”
Rachel Louise wrote: “How can BGT allow a stunt double for the dog and try to hide it, shouldn’t be allowed to be the winner!”
Jules and Matisse were the final act of the night, choosing a cops and robbers theme for their last performance, which ended with another dog, three-legged Skippy, coming on stage for an emotional ending to the story.
The performance reduced judges David Walliams and Amanda Holden to tears, with the latter gushing: “Honestly it was just one of the most wonderful stories. I’m crying my eyes out, it’s pathetic. You’ve knocked it out the park.”
Simon Cowell added: “It’s your love for that dog which really really shows, maybe we just saved the best until last.”
Speaking today, Jules said: “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.
“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.
ITV has been contacted for comment.