Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the cutest cast of a TV show in the history of television. And we aren’t talking about Chris Packham – no offence, Chris, but you just can’t compete with Zuri, Bodger, Monty, Betty or Flapjack.
Me and My Dog: The Ultimate Contest, beginning on Wednesday 5 April at 8pm on BBC2, sees eight humans and their eight dogs compete to prove who has the best bond. It’s a ridiculously charming four-part show with stupid challenges and lovely dogs who, despite everything, are prone to stopping for a poo in the middle of a competition.
Here’s who is taking part.
Chris Packham is the host (and judge) of Me and My Dog. He himself has two poodles, Itchy and Scratchy, who get their own dedication in his memoir. He’s best known as the presenter of Springwatch, and for his work on children’s nature series The Really Wild Show.
Human: Daisy | Dog: Zuri
Zuri’s age: 2
Daisy’s age: 37
Daisy: “She’s my fur baby. She’s a proper little princess.”
Somerset-based Daisy describes herself as stubborn and competitive, and reckons her dog is, too. Samoyeds are a raindeer-herding breed but there’s not many chances for Zuri to fulfil her natural vocation in the UK.
Human: Badger (aka Jenny) | Dog: Bodger
Breed: Collie Cocker Spaniel cross
Bodger and Badger come from Skipton in North Yorkshire, where they have a very active lifestyle. Badger uses exercise to manage her Tourettes, and Bodger looks after her.
“I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome in my 20s, but I have suffered from it all my life,” says Badger. “I’d always wanted a dog as a companion and she has helped with my confidence as people don’t dwell on my condition when I’m with Bodger – they are much more interested in stroking and fussing over the dog.”
Human: Jake| Dog: Monty
Monty’s age: 9
“We understand each other. We’ve been a team since he was seven weeks old,” says Jake.
Monty has sadly passed away since filming. Jake is still glad he did the programme: “Monty was nine years old and I wanted to create some more amazing memories with Monty.”
Human: Josh | Dog: Douglas
Breed: Labrador Springer Spaniel cross
Douglas’ age: 19 months
Josh’s age: 27
Josh: “I try and not be his master, I try and be his mate. I love playing with him and I never see it as exercising with the dog, I see it as going out with Douglas.”
The youngest dog in the competition, Douglas has spent his months as a puppy in Devon. Josh believes they have a strong chance of winning the competition and wants to “prove to the world how good Douglas is.”