Producers of the hugely popular TV show “Britain’s Got Talent” and the dog trainer who won the competition are coming under fire after a “doggie double” was used to perform a trick.
Border collie Matisse was replaced by a lookalike dog for a tightrope-walking sequence during the routine in Sunday night’s live final.
According to a report from the AP, oproducers Tuesday apologized to viewers who may have been unaware that trainer Jules O’Dwyer was using a team of dogs.
“We are sorry if this was not made clearer to the judges and the viewers at home during their final performance,” the producers said in a statement.
ITV chief Peter Fincham said that “in hindsight” it should have been made more clear to viewers that more than one dog was being used in the finals of the competition.
Broadcast regulator OFCOM said more than 200 complaints have been received. No decision has been made on whether a formal investigation will be launched.
O’Dwyer, who won 250,000 pounds ($383,000) for triumphing in the season finale, said she is shocked by the public’s reaction, which has included a number of Twitter complaints.
She said she used the second dog, Chase, because Matisse is uncomfortable with heights.