Britain’s Got Talent has seen more of its fair share of animal acts through its 13 previous series, but we’ve not seen one quite like Dave Wardell and his heroic service dog Finn.
Part dog show, part magic act, and fully emotional, the police officer stunned the judges and the viewers at home when he seemed to be able to read Finn’s mind and guess the words both David Walliams and Simon Cowell had picked out.
But there was more to the act than meets the eye, with Wardell showing a highly emotional video that revealed the extent of the bond with his dog, including how Finn once risked his life to protect his owner.
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“Finn and I live together, we worked together and we spend 24 hours a day together. We’ve been through some quite massive adventures,” Wardell told RadioTimes.com. “I’ve never had to give Finn instructions on what to do, he just knew. It was born out of our amazing relationship and bond.
“I know what he’s thinking and he knows what I’m thinking – quite often before I’ve even thought it. It comes from our real close connection and our real close bond. I hope that comes across in the act.”
Wardell decided to enter Britain’s Got Talent to give further promotion to ‘Finn’s Law‘, a campaign which aims for greater legal protection for service animals, which were previously in the eyes of the law only viewed as “property”.
He added that he has since been “overwhelmed” by the reaction he has received from social media after appearing on the show, and was delighted to have received such a warm reception from the judges – including a tearful Simon.
“I think that tells you a lot about Simon,” he said. “He clearly loves his own dogs and loves animals more generally. For us to have made that connection to Simon was huge. We were very proud and very pleased with how it went.”
It’s yet to be seen as to whether Wardell and Finn make it through to the live shows, and Wardell says he is “sworn to secrecy” as to what tricks they may have up their sleeve next.
But no matter what the outcome, he added the pair already feel like champions.
“I’m a police officer who’s used to running through gardens chasing baddies. To be on that stage to have that opportunity is huge,” he said. “If this goes no further Finn and I already feel like we’re winners; we’ve been up there and we’ve done a fantastic job. We’ve done everything we’ve set out to achieve.”
However, there is one person Wardell is keen for Finn to meet should they take the crown and head to the Royal Variety Performance.
“I hope the Queen would love [the act]!” Wardell laughed. “Because she has an amazing relationship with her dogs, I hope she would see that and she could take Finn into her heart. Wouldn’t it be great if Finn could meet the Queen?”
Britain’s Got Talent continues Saturdays at 8pm on ITV