Ofcom launched an investigation after it emerged that winner Jules O'Dwyer swapped Matisse for a doggy double during the Britain's Got Talent final - and concluded the show DID mislead viewers
We bet that Britain’s Got Talent winner Matisse the dog‘s tail is well and truly between his legs today, as the controversy surrounding him and his trainer, Jules O’Dwyer, has finally been settled – with the show being found to be in breach of the Ofcom code.
BGT fans expressed outrage when it emerged that Matisse had been switched with a doggy double called Chase to walk the tightrope during the act’s final-winning performance in May.
Ofcom launched an official investigation after receiving 1,175 complaints, and today concluded that the show had ‘materially misled’ viewers – a direct breach of their rules. Yikes.
The truth about the big dog swap was only revealed in an interview on Lorraine the day after the BGT final.
Trainer Jules revealed: ‘Every dog has a different character. Matisse is a little bit afraid of heights, so although in fact he could physically do it, Chase is the one that says I’m the action dog. He plays the double for him.’
The news led ITV to issue a statement apologising for failing to reveal Chase’s part in Jules and Matisse’s performance, explaining that it was ‘a simple omission’ and not an active decision, and denying they had broken any rules.
But the Ofcom investigators saw it differently.
Although they don’t believe that ITV bosses intended to deceive viewers, they concluded that factors including the name of the act, comments in the show such as describing the winners as a “double act”, the set design and the timing of Chase’s entrance and exit, and the fact that Chase did not appear on stage at the end of the performance “not only had the potential to mislead, but was likely to have done so.”
ITV are now offering refunds for anyone who voted for Jules & Matisse during the BGT final.
Don’t worry, Jules & Matisse – we still love you!