STARDOM is a tale of spot the difference for Morpeth’s newest double act.
With his mop of blond curls, deep brown eyes and wispy whiskers, Rhod has a face for television.
But it was only when he teamed up with his labradoodle Monty that fame came calling.
For Rhod Maclennan proved the perfect sidekick for his star pet in a dog/owner look-alike competition on BBC’s The One Show.
And in a live television appearance on Friday evening, the well-matched duo swept to victory to win the prestigious golden bone trophy.
Rhod, of Crookham Grove, Stobhill Manor, said: “It was quite surprising really. We’re still reeling from it. It was a fantastic experience for us both, but the star has to be Monty.”
The brush with fame came about rather suddenly for the pair after Rhod’s wife Sue secretly entered their photographs in the contest.
“I heard Chris Evans on his radio show on Wednesday morning saying he needed entries for The One Show’s dog and owner look-alike competition so I emailed a few pictures in for a laugh,” she said.
“I thought it would be fun. Then the BBC phoned up on Thursday afternoon and asked if Rhod and Monty could go down to London the next day and appear live on the show so I phoned Rhod to ask if he fancied a day out with the dog.
“He didn’t know I had sent the photos in, but it was probably just as well because he didn’t have much time to think about it and agreed to go.”
On Friday, the pair set off and though five-year-old Monty had never been on a train before, he took it all in his stride, sitting on a chair next to his owner.
Once in the capital, the VIP treatment began, with a chauffeur-driven car to take them to the studio.
Rhod was given a cream cardigan from the costume department to match Monty’s coat and after good luck messages from Chris Evans, Gyles Brandreth and food critic Jay Rayner, the moment in the spotlight came.
Monty and Rhod were up against spaniel Miss Totty and her owner Suzannah, and miniature dachshund Suki with Dennis, but judges Ramona Marquez and Daniel Roche, from comedy Outnumbered, went straight to the Morpeth duo to award them the trophy.
Rhod said: “Monty was in his element the whole time. He had never been on a train before and he loved London. He had his happy feet on all day and he was so laid back from start to finish.”
Sue, who was watching at a friend’s house with her other dogs, labradoodle Scooby and border collie Minnie, was delighted.
“We never thought they would win because in rehearsals one of the other dogs was picked so the surprise on Rhod’s face was completely genuine,” she said.
“We have three grandchildren in Wiltshire and they think they have a cool grandad now.
“We have gone in for a few fun dog shows and they have won quite a few rosettes for look-alike competitions, but the furthest we’ve been is Derby with the Labradoodle Trust, which we try to raise money for.
“This is completely different and it was a great day for labradoodles.”
l If you look like your pet, send a photograph to Morpeth Herald, 17 Newgate Street, Morpeth, or email email@example.com