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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019

The Britain’s Got Talent dog-swap controversy has gone all the way to the top

ITV were found to have misled viewers.

Source: Britain's Got Talent/YouTube

THE INFAMOUS BRITAIN’S Got Talent dog-swap controversy has reached a conclusion of sorts with ITV now found to have been in breach of broadcasting rules.

The winning performance by ‘Jules O’Dwyer & Matisee’ was found to have misled viewers after a second dog, Chase, was used during a tightrope section of the act.

Viewers had not been told that numerous dogs were used in the performance with Ofcom concluding that people who voted for it were likely to have been misled.

Ofcom acknowledged that ITV did not set out to deliberately mislead views but pointed to several instances where the public could have been told a second dog was used.

Jules O’Dwyer is a long-time dog trainer and regularly uses numerous dogs in her act but, during her time on Britain’s Got Talent, her acted was billed as ’Jules O’Dwyer & Matisee’.

O’Dwyer says that Matisse is afraid of heights and that the tightrope act was performed by Chase.

Chase did not appear on stage with O’Dwyer after the performance and presenters Ant and Dec regularly refereed to her and Matisee as a “double act”.

A recorded segment ahead of the final also focused on Matisse’s role to the exclusion of other animals, Ofcom said.

“When we go on that stage tonight, we’re going to give it our all; we’re going to do our best. Let’s go get ’em, eh, boy…” O’Dwyer said during the promo.

‘Jules & Matisse’ received 22.6% of the 4.5 million votes cast and won the contest ahead of magician Raven who secured 20.4%. The won €345,000 and the chance to perform in front of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

ITV points out that almost 90% of the votes for Jules & Matisee were made through a free smartphone app. The rest of the votes were made each a cost of 50p each.

ITV has attempted to refund views who voted for ‘Jules & Matisse’ but has not offer to overturn the result.

Ofcom’s decision will not lead to any further sanction.

Read: The Britain’s Got Talent dog-swap controversy takes another turn >

Read: Britain’s Got Talent producers apologise for ‘switched dog’ stunt >

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Rónán Duffy

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