Fans across the country – and even the world – have gone potty about Wellingborough’s Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey following their Britain’s Got Talent semi-final win.
The duo were the first act to be voted through to the final of the competition after receiving a standing ovation from the audience and all four judges after their routine.
Simon Cowell said their performance made them strong contenders to win the contest.
They are now one of the favourites with the bookmakers to take the title and win the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Performance – and scoop the £500,000 prize money.
Now back at home in Wellingborough, Ashleigh took time out from her preparations for Saturday night’s final to speak to the Evening Telegraph about her whirlwind week.
Asked how it felt to receive such glowing reviews from the famous panel, Ashleigh said: “The judges were really lovely. I think David is in love with Pudsey. I couldn’t have asked for better comments.
“The semi-final was an amazing opportunity, I just went in there with the right attitude to have a really good time and enjoy it as much as possible.”
Their 1920s-style routine was inspired by the Oscar-winning film The Artist, and the music was hand picked by the Britain’s Got Talent producers.
“They chose the music for me – I had never done that genre of music before,” Ashleigh said.
“Pudsey was phenomenal. He did everything I asked him to do – he had never done the routine so well.”
“Pudsey definitely knows he’s done something good. I don’t think he knows actually what he’s done, but he’s loving all of the attention.
“He loves the cameras and he loves people watching. I think he was born to be on the stage. In my eyes he would be good for film work.”
The 17-year-old Wrenn School pupil said she had been putting a lot of hours into training for the final.
She said: “Even if I’m not training with Pudsey, I am still training by myself, or I’m watching videos to help get my timing right.
“The routine is completely different for our final performance. I am putting everything into it because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“The final routine is also a big secret, everyone will have to wait and see. It is completely different from anything else that we have done.
“There are parts in it that a dog has never done before on Britain’s Got Talent.”
She added: “It has been a mental week, but at the same time it has been absolutely brilliant. The media attention has been amazing.
“I have had a few emails from people around the world saying that they are watching me in the show. I had one from someone in Australia saying they were watching and I’ve got a fan club over there.
“I have also been watching everybody else in their semi-finals this week. Everyone is really supportive of each other and it’s like one big family back stage.”
Asked what she thinks the royal family would make of her and Pudsey’s act, she said: “I think the Queen would love our act, you never know, Pudsey and I could help her with her dogs.
“If we won I think Pudsey would get anything he wanted, and I would like to set up my company for animals in films.”
Ashleigh said she wanted to thank everyone who has supported her and Pudsey in the competition, saying: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has voted for me.
“Their support means the world to me.”