Dogs aiming to be TV stars

This Is Wiltshire: Kelly Richards and Harry  Photo: Glenn Phillips Kelly Richards and Harry Photo: Glenn Phillips

Two west Wiltshire pet owners will be appearing in the new Channel 4 series Superstar Dogs over the next three weeks.

Ashley Russell, from Dilton Marsh, and three-year-old Oliver, a German shorthaired pointer, did two auditions with production company Tuesday’s Child before being selected to appear on the three-week show, presented by John Barrowman.

Superstar Dogs, which started on Monday, sees dogs and their owners from all over the UK competing in a number of challenges and the final Dogstacle course.

Mr Russell and Oliver filmed the heats, semi-finals and final on January 27 and 31 at MediaCityUK in Manchester, where they competed against 30 other pairings for the chance to win cash and a Crufts appearance.

Mr Russell, 26, who lives with partner Sophie Stent, said: “We didn’t have a great heat, as there were a few obstacles that Oliver found quite difficult, but we managed to scrape through and got better as it went on.

“He was a bit taken aback when he saw all the lights and the smoke during filming, but he eventually settled down and coped well with the 200 or so people in the audience.”

Also competing on the show is Kelly Richards, 24, of Hill Street, Trowbridge, with her 23-month-old border collie Harry.

Miss Richards, a letting administrator, said: “It was a brilliant feeling and something I never thought we’d do.

“I really enjoyed it and it didn’t faze Harry so I’m sure we’ll take part in more competitions in the future.”

The contestants were both told not to reveal how they did in the competition until their episodes are aired.

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