BRITAIN’S Got Talent: The Champions viewers were in floods of tears tonight as former winner Ashleigh Butler returned to the series with new dog Sully, two years after her beloved pooch Pudsey passed away.

The 24-year old dog trainer and her talented new Pudsey lookalike wowed the judges and audience with their routine, which was performed to Mary Poppins’ song A Spoonful of Sugar.

 Ashleigh and Sully kicked off the series with a routine set to A Spoonful of Sugar

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Ashleigh and Sully kicked off the series with a routine set to A Spoonful of SugarCredit: Rex Features
 The audience were stunned by Sully's tricks, which echoed Pudsey's amazing abilities

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The audience were stunned by Sully’s tricks, which echoed Pudsey’s amazing abilitiesCredit: Rex Features

But fans were in tears even before the performance as Ashleigh remembered her late pet in the VT that introduced her.

Recalling her final moments with Pudsey, who passed away from leukemia in 2017, she revealed: “He looked at me and nodded his head; that was him saying goodbye.”

She went onto to say that Sully, who is a cross-breed of a Chinese crested powderpuff, border collie and poodle, was “like a brother to Pudsey” and that winning BGT: The Champions with Sully “would be everything.”

 

 Ashleigh and Sully on the red carpet

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Ashleigh and Sully on the red carpetCredit: PA:Press Association
 Ashleigh with Pudsey on BGT in 2012

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Ashleigh with Pudsey on BGT in 2012Credit: Rex Features
 Judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden pose with presenting duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

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Judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden pose with presenting duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.Credit: ITV

Viewers shared their emotions on twitter as the programme aired.

[insert tweets here]

Ashleigh took to the stage dressed in a Mary Poppins-inspired ensemble, including a blue coat with paw prints on it, a white shirt with a red bow and a matching red hat.

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Sully then ran onto the bedroom set and launched into a series to tricks to Ashleigh’s commands.

These included dashing between Ashleigh’s legs, walking on his hind legs and performing several spins and jumps to the music.

 The pair performed in a bedroom, inspired by the children's bedroom where Mary Poppins performs tricks in the classic movie

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The pair performed in a bedroom, inspired by the children’s bedroom where Mary Poppins performs tricks in the classic movieCredit: Rex Features
 Sully is the spitting image of Pudsey

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Sully is the spitting image of PudseyCredit: Rex Features

The judging panel – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – were seriously impressed.

The pair are the first act to kick off the new series, which invites several winners, finalists and notable participants from previous series of the global Got Talent franchises.

The episode also featured series one runner up Connie Talbot and champion Paul Potts.

Ashleigh and Pudsey became an instant hit with viewers when they scooped the 2012 Britain’s Got Talent crown in series six of the ITV show.

Following their BGT success they went on to do a Pudsey movie and also theatre shows across the UK.

Pudsey competed in his last Crufts competition in March 2017, and Ashleigh got teary eyed as her dog, full name Pudsey Bear, completed his final run.

 Pudsey became a household name but passed away in 2017

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Pudsey became a household name but passed away in 2017Credit: Getty Images

The Sun revealed on July 21, 2017, that Pudsey the dog had died aged 11.

Ashleigh announced the sad news via Instagram, saying she was “heartbroken” to say goodbye.

“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.

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“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.”

She added: “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.”

 Ashleigh and Sully also performed on the recent series of Americas Got Talent: The Champions but failed to make it to the final

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Ashleigh and Sully also performed on the recent series of Americas Got Talent: The Champions but failed to make it to the final

On November 27, 2018, Ashleigh revealed her “new Pudsey” on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Sully looks almost identical to Pudsey apart from a slick of silver hair.

Ashleigh is now continuing her dog trick act with Sully following Pudsey’s passing.

In March 2018 Ashley and Sully were named champs in the Agility Heat at Crufts.

 Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey were the stars of Britain's Got Talent 2012.

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Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey were the stars of Britain’s Got Talent 2012.Credit: Rex Features
 Ashleigh and her new dog Sully

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Ashleigh and her new dog Sully

At the time of the event, Ashleigh admitted: “It was a very sad Crufts, as it was the first time I’d not competed with Pudsey for a long time, but the championship win was for him as well.

“I definitely thought Pudsey was with us cheering Sully and me on.”

Britain’s Got Talent winner Ashleigh Butler and Sully produce another winning performance at Crufts


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