Britain’s Got Talent star Ashleigh Butler has walked her first red carpet with new dog Sully – just over a month after beloved pooch Pudsey passed away.
The 22-year-old talent show star admitted it was a difficult night for her as she attended her first big event without Pudsey, who was put down in July after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
Looking glamorous in a floor-sweeping emerald green gown, the dog trainer managed to smile as she joined a slew of celebrities at the Animal Hero Awards in London on Thursday evening.
Ashleigh introduced Sully to the cameras and it seemed like Sully was just as well trained as his predecessor, as he showed off a few tricks on the red carpet.
The similarity between Sully and Pudsey is striking so perhaps it’s no surprise Ashleigh has confirmed the two dogs came from the same breeder.
She told fans: “Had a great time at the Animal Hero Awards. It was tough as it was the first big event without my handsome man with me, but I know he was there with me in spirit.
“I’m grateful that I had Sullivan by my side though, and for his first time he was brilliant.
“Took it all in, loved all the attention and showing off.”
The brunette then admitted she may have revealed more than she intended for the cameras thanks to the cut of her dress.
She laughed: “I am in a lot of the press today for an almost wardrobe malfunction when I went to pick Sullivan up though, whoops!”
The Animal Hero Awards marked Sully’s official debut in the showbiz world as he’ll now take over from Pudsey in Ashleigh’s show.
Pudsey became a fan favourite when he and Ashleigh won Britain’s Got Talent back in 2012, becoming the first dog-based act to receive the honour, and fans were heartbroken in July when he died.
There had been claims that Ashleigh was renaming Sully Pudsey in her late dog’s honour but she’s now insisted that isn’t true.
She told This Morning: “No, Sully is Sully. I can’t and won’t change him.
“There was always going to be a point where Sully took over from Pudsey, just so that Pudsey could enjoy retirement. But I didn’t expect it to happen like this.
“I think carrying on what Pudsey started will help me. He gave me opportunities that I never thought I would ever have.”
Sully may be just starting his showbiz career but he’s already got a pretty impressive CV having scored wins at Crufts and the World Agility Championships.
Next up for Sully is the lucrative world of panto, as he’ll join Ashleigh in a production of Jack and the Beanstalk in High Wycombe over Christmas.
And given Pudsey managed to land himself a book deal, rub shoulders with the Queen, score a Hollywood movie and jet around the world on a private jet, we can’t wait to see what Sully manages to achieve.