TV presenter is top dog on live awards show

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Aldington resident and TV funnyman Paul O’Grady bagged a National Television Award last night for his primetime ITV series about Battersea Dogs Home.

The presenter scooped the Best Factual Entertainment Award for the show which aired in September 2012 entitled Paul O’Grady - For The Love of Dogs.

O’Grady, who is known for brining along his four legged friends to join in the filming of his chat shows is said to have “captured the hearts of the nation with its unforgettable and emotional tales of dogs searching for a second chance in life.”

The public voted the show as the top dog ahead of other docu-entertainment programmes such as Top Gear, The Apprentice and The Great British Bake Off.

As he accepted the award on stage at London’s O2 Arena, Paul O’Grady said: ““I would really like to thank everyone who watched the show and voted for it and of course the staff and volunteers at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home - and let’s not forget all those four-legged dogs, as well as the three-legged ones!”

The seven-part series broadcast a Christmas Day Special taking millions of viewers on a journey behind the scenes at Battersea. Each week Paul followed the joyous, challenging and sometimes heart-breaking stories of some of the 6,000 dogs who arrive at the world-famous animal rescue centre each year.

Battersea Chief Executive Claire Horton said: “Everyone at Battersea is ecstatic that Paul’s series has won such a prestigious award and I’d like to thank everyone who voted.

“We’ve always known Battersea holds a special place in people’s hearts and this award reinforces the love people have for us and most importantly the animals we care so much for. Paul is now a Battersea Ambassador and his warmth, humour and support made millions of TV viewers feel part of each dog’s story.”

Overnight, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond tweeted his congratulations to Paul O’Grady, admitting his animal-loving daughters were delighted with the result and British Bake Off finalist James Morton graciously acknowledged that “dogs are cuter than cakes!”

During the series Paul fell in love with every Battersea dog he met, not least Carmine the Boxer who he tried to “smuggle out” by every means possible. And it was a homeless Chihuahua cross puppy, part of a litter born at Battersea by caesarean section, who won his heart and Eddie now lives with Paul and his other dogs Olga, Louis and Bullseye.

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