Simon Cowell is planning a festive treat for dog lovers this year in the shape of a brand new talent show with the working title Take the Lead.
The new programme, understood at this stage to be a one off, will celebrate all things canine as some of the nation’s most talented pooches perform before a panel of judges, expected to include Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey.
It is understood that BGT panellist and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon is favourite to host the show. However, despite currently hosting For the Love of Dogs on ITV and being rumoured to be a panellist, show insiders are currently suggesting Paul O’Grady will not be involved.
A keen dog lover himself, Simon Cowell got an idea of the popularity of canine cabaret earlier this year when Ashleigh and Pudsey stole the nation’s heart on Britain’s Got Talent.
Since their victory on the ITV talent contest, the pair have gone on to perform at Epsom Downs Racecourse in front of the Queen as part of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations. They’ll also be appearing at this year’s Royal Variety Performance in December, and today celebrated the launch of Pudsey’s first book, Pudsey: My Autobiography.
In 2008 Cowell joked that he plans to leave his multi-million pound fortune to his pet dogs. He said at the time: “I’ll probably leave the lot to the animals. There’ll be some very rich poodles in Beverly Hills.”