‘Out of this world’ is the way Ashleigh Butler has described her rise to fame since winning Britain’s Got Talent 12 months ago with her dog Pudsey.
The Wellingborough girl and Pudsey were crowned champions of the talent show on May 12, 2012, and the experiences she has had in the past year would make most people’s jaws drop and just say ‘wow’.
Ashleigh and Pudsey have performed in front of the Queen twice, sat on a sofa with Morgan Freeman on the Jay Leno show, shared the red carpet with the stars at countless events, and Pudsey has even released his own autobi-dog-raphy.
Ashleigh, 18, said: “We’ve done so many incredible things and it’s been quite busy and hectic, and a lot of hard work.
“But it has been great, I can’t thank the people enough who originally voted for me.”
Winning the talent show turned Ashleigh and Pudsey into showbiz sensations but Ashleigh said she will continue to stay grounded.
She said: “It is quite difficult at times because I’m away from home a lot, and away from my family and friends.
“But they are always there supporting me, and they understand that I am away a lot.
“They have always been there and been very supportive.”
On June 2, 2012, the dancing duo performed at Epsom Downs Racecourse in the presence of the Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and they also performed at the 100th anniversary of the Royal Variety Performance on November 19 last year.
The pair have also appeared on numerous chat shows, appeared on stage in a performance of Dick Whittington at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking, Surrey, and most recently they appeared at the Cannes Film Festival.
When the Telegraph asked Ashleigh for her favourite moment, she found it difficult to select just one.
She said: “I would have to say the Royal Variety Show, to perform on its 100th anniversary with some of the biggest names was just incredible.
“I also enjoyed the National Television Awards.
“And the panto. I did drama and music at school so this was perfect for me, it was great.”
Ashleigh was given Pudsey as a present when she was 11 years old and she said the pair have been inseparable ever since.
She said: “I used to spend a lot of time with him, but of course I was at school then.
“But now I get to be with him and work with him all the time, it’s great.
“Not many people can say they get to work with their dog or pet.”
One of the most recent developments in the whirlwind career of Ashleigh and Pudsey was the announcement of Pudsey the Film earlier this year.
Since then, work has started on the film and Ashleigh said the experience has been incredible.
She said: “When we started talking about it, I was told not to get too excited because not everything goes ahead.
“When we first got the scripts, it was amazing, to think there’s going to be a film about my dog. It will be amazing to see it when it is actually done, I think I’ll probably cry.”
The performers’ popularity has also been highlighted a little closer to home, when graffiti featuring Pudsey appeared on a wall in Pebble Lane, Wellingborough.
Ashleigh said it was weird to think somebody had done that, but it was also nice.
The teenager has undoubtedly had a fantastic 12 months and when asked to sum it up in a sentence she said it has been: “Busy, hectic, but incredible and out of this world.”
What the future holds
A year on from winning Britain’s Got Talent and Ashleigh Butler is planning for the future, with her hectic work-rate continuing this year and ‘hopefully’ next.
Filming on the Pudsey the Dog film is set to begin shortly and Ashleigh insists she can’t wait.
She said: “I’m looking forward to it, to think there’s a film about my dog is amazing.”
However, it is a more recent project that has had Ashleigh thinking about the future.
She has just finished filming for a show where she undertook her first presenting role.
The 18-year-old will head-up a show on the CBBC channel entitled Who Let the Dogs Out, which is entering its third series, and is likely to be aired in October.
The show sees youngsters getting their pets to complete a dog trick each week and Ashleigh enjoyed it so much that she is looking for more presenting roles.
She said: “I have just finished filming for my first ever presenting role for a show on CBBC.
“I really enjoyed it, and it is just amazing to see how the children connect with their dogs.”
She added: “I think I’m starting to get into a bit more presenting, so hopefully I get a few more presenting jobs in the future.”
Whatever the future holds, she will be continuing her hectic schedule in 2013.
She said: “I have just finished the filming for my first presenting job, then it’s the film and then it will be Christmas and panto time again.”