ITV to refund BGT viewers who voted for Jules and Matisse

Published Monday, Aug 17 2015, 14:06 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
ITV will refund viewers who voted for Jules O'Dwyer and her dog Matisse to win Britain's Got Talent.

The finale of this year's show was marred by controversy after it emerged that a second dog named Chase had performed the tightrope walk stunt, not Matisse. More than 1,000 complaints were made to Ofcom.

Now, an Ofcom ruling has said that although ITV may not have intended to deceive viewers, the stunt dog double had the potential to mislead fans and "was likely to have done so."

Jules O'Dwyer and Matisse are crowned Britain's Got Talent winners 2015, 31st May 2015

© Twitter / @BGT

Producers had apologised after the finale for not making the stunt dog clearer to the judges and viewers, saying there had never been any intention to mislead anyone.

Now, a statement from ITV has reasserted this, saying: "There was never any intention to mislead viewers and in their decision Ofcom said they 'have no reason to believe that there was any intention to deceive viewers that the tightrope walk actually involved a second dog'."

Refunds will be available to those who paid to vote for Jules and Matisse to win.

The statement added: "The majority of votes cast for Jules' act were received through the free voting app. However, we accept that some viewers who voted for the winning act by a paid voting route may wish to seek a refund, or that the cost of their vote be donated in full to the Royal Variety charity. Details about how to obtain a refund, or to request that a refund be donated to the charity, are now on our website."

Speaking after the finale, judge Simon Cowell had admitted he felt like a "bit of an idiot" when he learned of the stunt dog: "I didn't really know what I was judging until afterwards, so I felt like a bit of an idiot. The moment I found out, I literally put my head in my hands."

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