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Village dogs collar the lead roles in their own TV show
Left to right: Susanne Tuffrey with Dexter, Jenny Turner with Ron and Dotty, Sally Turner with Doug and Fay Ford with Ewok.
EVERY dog has his day – and some dogs have three.
That, at least, was the case for the ruff and ready doggies of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, near Wallingford, which has been the base for a three-part BBC Two show on man’s best friend.
The Wonder of Dogs – which ends tonight and is presented by Kate Humble – was shot in its entirety in the village.
And far from being a barking idea, locals say it has helped bring the community together.
Villager Helen Baines, a freelance television producer who worked on the show, suggested to production firm Windfall Films that the show should be shot there.
She said the village was ideal as she knew many dog owners there and the programme also needed to be shot quickly over seven days.
But she said the show – which stars many villagers and their pooches – soon became a talking point and got villagers excited.
“Everybody was talking about it and talking to me about their dogs all the time,” she said.
The producer said more than 80 people attended a special premiere of the show held at the village hall on the Sunday before the first episode came out.
The Wonder of Dogs attracted 3.1 million viewers in its first week. The dog documentary was filmed around the village over seven days in June.
Dog owner Susanne Tuffrey, of Bakers Lane, said: “It has been fabulous.” The 51-year-old, whose three-year-old Labrador Dexter took scent and vision tests on the show, said: “It gave us something to do and it was very interesting to see how it works behind the scenes.”
The show, presented by Kate Humble and vet Steve Leonard, started on Thursday, September 19, and the last episode will be aired tonight at 8pm.
A special set was constructed at Grade II listed Brightwell Manor and the Red Lion pub features in the opening credits.
Celia Collett, South Oxfordshire District Council member for Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, said the village was proud of its television appearance.
She said: “It is a good community and we are always up for doing this sort of thing.
“The period of filming was lovely. From all the feedback I have got, everyone seems to have thoroughly enjoyed it.”
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