Cheers and tears as dancing duo do home town proud

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Schoolfriends, family and fellow dog trainers crammed into the hall at Ashleigh Butler’s school to cheer her to victory on Saturday night.

The final was played on a big screen in the hall at Wrenn School in Wellingborough, where Ashleigh is in the lower sixth form.

Fellow sixth formers, members of Wellingborough Dog Training Club and Ashleigh’s brother Brett, six, and sister Tayla, 14, all came along.

Every time Ashleigh and Pudsey appeared on screen the hall was filled with cheers.

Everyone was on their feet to hear the final result and people cheered at the top of their voices when the duo were named the winners.

After their victory Ashleigh’s sister Tayla said: “It was really good, I was just really nervous. I couldn’t believe it when they said she had won.”

Wrenn School headteacher William Thallon said: “We are just absolutely delighted, which is an understatement. I think she deserved to win, I think she was the most original act, there were some terrific acts but she was the most original one.

“She is a very popular student. This won’t change her one little bit, she is unassuming and modest, she will be the same person on Monday as she was a month ago.

“It’s great for Wellingborough. We have got such talented people in this town and it’s nice to see one recognised like this, it’s fantastic.”

Ashleigh’s friend Ellen Barlow said: “Words can’t describe, I’m actually speechless. I was just gobsmacked, I was over the Moon. I can’t believe it, she has made everybody so proud and most of all herself and Pudsey, they are going to go a long way.”

Ashleigh’s friend Bethany Mayes said: “I am so excited for her, she couldn’t have done any better, she truly deserves to have won that, everyone is so proud of her.

“The atmosphere at Wrenn was just amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better surrounding or a better final, she deserves it.”

Martin Jones-Forargue, 17, said: “I’m lost for words. When I saw her I just felt like she was going to win. The routine was great.”

Leya Chaudhry, 17, said: “I feel like I’m dreaming, I want someone to pinch me because it was absolutely crazy. I’m so proud of her. It’s good to see something like that come out of Wellingborough.”

Ashleigh Wilson, 17, said: “It was amazing she put the routine together so quickly, it’s like Pudsey knows the dance rather than just listening to Ashleigh, he just knows the routine, it’s like he has learned it as a dancer. He is so brainy. Wellingborough has definitely got talent.”

John Mallett, 16, said: “I can’t quite believe that someone I speak to every day is known across the nation and is a half a millionaire.

“It’s a huge credit to the school and it’s a credit to say we know her. She has basically got a career out of this now. Pudsey is a fantastic dog as well.”

Ryan Dunnill, 17, said: “I liked the way she worked so well with the dog in the routine. It was strange seeing her on the TV.”

Blessed Opoku, 17, said: “She did us proud. We called her a couple of hours before the show and she was really excited. We said good luck and she said thank you.”

Daniel Davis, 17, said: “I think she is absolutely amazing. It’s totally weird seeing someone you know so well up on the TV.”

Nicola Haycock from Wellingborough Dog Training Club said: “It’s fantastic. I just couldn’t believe it when they said she had won, it’s just out of this world.

“She has tried so hard and put so much work into it. She deserves it.”

Tarik Ali from the club said: “I’m elated, she is a young girl and she has put a lot of effort into training her dog. She has helped train my dogs, I’ve got a couple of Rottweilers, she is really good.

“It was really fantastic. It’s done a lot, not just for her but for dogs, it’s brought it to the public’s attention – we are a nation of dog lovers after all.”

Andy King from the club said: “She has done brilliantly, we are all so, so proud of her at the club, it’s given the whole club a bit of a lift.”