Britain’s Got Talent viewers were misled over the use of a second dog by the show’s winning act, Ofcom has ruled.
Jules O’Dwyer and her dog Matisse won the ITV talent show in June, but it was later revealed that another dog, Chase, performed the tightrope walk section of her final performance. As reported by The Mirror, 1,150 complaints were made to Ofcom in the immediate aftermath of the final regarding the use of Chase.
The performance featured O’Dwyer as a policewoman going after “sausage thief” Matisse and another of her pets, three-legged Skippy. Click below to watch.
Following an investigation, Ofcom accepted that ITV “had no intention to deceive the audience” but that the act “did not make clear to viewers that a central part was performed by a second dog”.
“Broadcasters inviting viewers to vote using premium rate numbers have a particular responsibility to ensure the audience is clear about what they are voting for,” the media watchdog said. “By failing to do so, we’ve concluded the presentation of the act was likely to have materially misled some people.”
ITV has said viewers can claim a refund if they voted for the winning act or the cost of their vote be donated in full to the Royal Variety charity.