Interview with Sheridan Smith on Pooch Perfect
Pooch Perfect starts on Thursday 7 January at 8pm on BBC One and will also be available on BBC iPlayer
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What is Pooch Perfect all about?
Tell us about your role on the show.
This is my first prime-time hosting gig, I can’t believe I got asked to be honest! But I am a huge dog lover and the time just seemed right, I had just had my son, Billy, so it was an absolute honour to be asked.
Being the host I got to know each contestant really well - I am a people person and I just love getting to know people. I became really attached and I wanted them all to win! I hated even just announcing who was going home each week, so I was thankful it wasn’t my job to judge them.
But you’re not hosting on your own are you?
I have a co-host called Stanley, he is the star of the show, I am in fact his co-host!
Stanley is a dog, to avoid any confusion, a well-trained dog, better trained than me! He is a cross breed, and was originally rescued from Battersea, the nation will fall in love with him, he is just beautiful.
Stanley needs his own Instagram, he would get millions of followers, I am sure he is going to win an Oscar soon enough!
How many dogs do you have at home?
I have six dogs already and I was warned not to bring any dogs home from filming before we started!
There was many a time where I wanted to, but I promised my mum no more livestock, because I also have donkeys. The donkeys live at the field at the end of my garden, they are gorgeous, they are similar to dogs in that they are loving and loyal, and they know their owner. Donkeys are always in pairs, you rarely see a donkey on their own, so we have two sisters and a couple, they always stay together, I think it’s so sweet and romantic!
Although the show is very fun and entertaining, how serious is the competition?
The professional dog groomers take this really seriously, it’s their livelihoods at stake, they’ve trained their whole lives to do this and I had no idea how much skill goes into it.
They really love dogs and you see how compassionate they are with them on the show. They are doing a job they love, and they are brilliant at it! They really are the best in the country, a lot of them know each other from the circuit, it’s a tough old game. They don’t know what some of the challenges will be either, so they are walking in blind, I am there for moral support but the judges are very strict.
Alongside you, we have our judges Colin and Verity, plus our resident vet Bolu. Tell us about their roles on the show.
Colin and Verity are renowned in the dog world, they are top top groomers! Colin has his famous comb, and he checks to see if any hairs are out of place. Verity is a self-confessed neat freak, she spots everything! I think all the dogs look amazing, but it’s the judges they need to impress not me.
Then we have our lovely vet Bolu, he is a vet of small animal practice so he knows dogs inside and out, and has his own little Bichon Frisé. He is on set at all times to make sure all the dogs are happy and healthy, just in case one of the groomers finds something wrong with the dog’s fur or skin, then he is there to treat it.
Also we have our doggy welfare, which is a huge team there to make sure the dogs are ok, they have regular toilet breaks, regular walks and they always have water. The dogs are so well looked after, the whole show is catered around them to make sure they have a lovely day!
How important is dog grooming?
Grooming is so important when it comes to caring for dogs. Bolu works closely with groomers because often a groomer can spot any problems a dog has with its fur or skin, and with regular visits these issues can be avoided. It’s great for the dogs’ welfare, and it’s really important in caring for your dog. I have learnt so much from being on the show and I hope people at home do too.
Lastly, if you were a dog breed, what would you be?
Verity said I would be a Labrador as I am always happy, friendly, and always looking for a biscuit! Colin said I would be a Chihuahua as you can pick me up under your arm and I am a little feisty. But I would have gone for a Yorkshire Terrier because of my Yorkshire roots, they are a little bit scruffy and a little bit raggedy and I like that, that’s me!
Source BBC One
January 6, 2021 7:00am ET by BBC One