Ashleigh and Pudsey were the first ever dog and trainer act to win Britain’s Got Talent after capturing the judges and nations hearts with their adorable routines.
The double act won the sixth series of the talent competition in 2012, as Ashleigh and Pudsey – who was a Border Collie, Bichon Frise, and Chinese Crested powderpuff cross – wowed the judges week after week with their incredible performances.
Alesha Dixon squealed: “I can’t cope, this moment is too much. You’re showing people what dogs can do when they have good homes and are loved. I can’t cope. You’re the ones to beat.”
While Amanda Holden said: “That was unbelievable, forget diamonds, Pudsey is everybody’s best friend, he’s just gorgeous.”
As reported in the Mirror, their sensational routine to the Mission Impossible theme tune in the final saw them crowned winners over singers Jonathan and Charlotte – with Simon then joking: “My life’s work is now complete.”
Ashleigh became an overnight sensation after her appearance on the show, despite still studying at sixth form at the time.
Speaking about life after their rise to fame in July 2014, she said: “If I’m on my own, people will look at me and kind of know they recognise me from somewhere, but they’re not sure. m with Pudsey, then yes, they recognise us.”
With his astonishing paw-formances on Britain’s Got Talent, it was only a matter of time before Pudsey became a millionaire.
Along with owner Ashleigh, the wonderdog signed a book deal worth £350,000, which was added to their £500,000 BGT prize and a £150,000 fee to appear in panto that Christmas.
The winning duo also had the money-can’t-buy honor of perfoming in front of The Queen at the Royal Variety performance and as part of her Diamon Jubilee celebrations.
They were guests judges on ITV2 show Top Dog Model and That Dog Can Dance!, then co-hosts of kids show Who Let the Dogs Out?.
When Pudsey was presumably having a snooze, Ashleigh played the role of Duchess in David Williams’ TV adaptation of his children’s book Mr Stink and appeared in a celebrity version of First Dates.
But their biggest moment in the spotlight came in 2014 when they starred in their own film, Pudsey: The Movie, where he was voiced by David Walliams.
For three consecutive years they performed in productions of Dick Whittinghton and played Dorothy and Toto in a The Wizard of Oz pantomime.
However, there were fears the pair may split in September 2016 as Pudley was reportedly “jealous” when his owner found love with an acrobat.
She started dating him after they grew close while he worked as a dancer on Ashleigh and Pudsey’s tour.
She told Celeb: “I always said I’d never date someone in this industry, but Zac’s sweet. He does back flips and has a great body.
“There was meeting the parents and then there’s meeting Pudsey. My parents like him, but Pudsey hasn’t warmed to him just yet, I think he’s a little bit jealous. I hope they’ll warm to each other.”
After taking part in First Dates, Ashleigh wanted to branch out and do more solo projects, adding: “I’m not ditting Pudsey, but hopefully I can do a few more projects on my own.
“Pudsey’s got his own movie, so it’s about time I can have some limelight. My dream would be Strictly Come Dancing.”
However, their romance didn’t last and rumours emerged that Ashleigh had an affair with her friend’s boyfriend while away on tour.
According to reports in The Sun in June 2019, Ashleigh snuck off for steamy trysts with Anthony Clarke, a world champion dog trainer, at shows in the UK and abroad.
Their affair was reportedly exposed after Anthony was confronted by his long-term partner Holly over intimate pictures of the pair at a dog agility competition.
After a ‘tense stand-off’, Holly was left heartbroken when her boyfriend reportedly dumped her and moved out of their home.
A source claimed: “Everyone thinks that Ashleigh is this squeaky clean, goody two-shoes. But Holly is absolutely devastated by this betrayal. It has turned into a huge mess.”
The source claimed that Ashleigh “broke the girl code” and was “completely two-faced”, while Anthony was “sorry” for what he did. Ashleigh declined to comment when approached.
As for Pudsey, the faithful pooch sadly passed away in July 2017 after a battle with acute leukaemia.
Owner Ashleigh shared the heartbreaking news of her 11-year-old companion’s death in a heartbreaking tribute on social media.
She said: “I can’t honestly believe I am writing these words. My handsome man has gone, and I don’t know what to do without him.
“My heart is broken, and I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. It hurts so much, that my handsome, incredible Pudsey Bear will never be by my side, where he belongs, again.
“We only had 11 years together, but they were the best years ever. He was my one in a billion dog that will never be replaced. I don’t need to write all of his endless accomplishments on here to prove how incredible he was for me. Sleep tight my handsome man, I love you lots xxxx.”
The program which catapulted Pudsey and Ashleigh to fame paid tribute to their first canine winner, taking to Twitter with a message.
Posting a picture of the duo’s first-ever performance, the BGT account wrote: “We are saddened to hear that today we lost Pudsey, a most marvelous winner. Our thoughts are with Ashleigh.”
But Ashleigh was back in November 2018 with a new pet pooch, Sully, who looks almost identical to Pudsey.
In March 2018, Ashleigh and Sully were named champs in the Agility Heat at Crufts.
The trainer and Sully performed together on BGT: The Champions the following year, with Ashleigh returning to the show years after winning with her Pudsey.
Speaking to Mirror Online at the Animal Hero Awards, Ashleigh said: “He’s a bit of a flirt with all the other dogs – this is like his favorite night.”
When asked if he could find a girlfriend at the bash, she said: “Or maybe a boyfriend, Sully is not fussed, anything fluffy he’s like ‘yeah’.”
They finished in third place during their heat and failed to make it to the final.
Ashleigh said she loved returning to Britain’s Got Talent but that it was an emotional evening, saying: “It was nerve wreaking , really nerve wracking but for us to come third in our heat is incredible. I loved it.”
She added: “It was [emotional], and like I say nerve wracking because people had seen what I’d done with Pudsey and how amazing he was, so then going back with a completely different dog was scary, but I think Sully did his best. He loved it.”
Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our weekly Showbiz newsletter here .