14/05/2012 14:12 BST | Updated 14/05/2012 15:38 BST

Pudsey Bound For Hollywood? Five Canine Stars In Whose Pawprints He'll Tread...

"He's already got himself a book deal," was how a delighted Simon Cowell announced the arrival of his latest protege on the world stage.

In case you were hiding under a nice, cool stone somewhere at the weekend, Pudsey (along with some tag-on by the name of Ashleigh or something or other), was the triumphant winner of Britain's Got Talent, not to forget the quiet collector of a cheque to the tune of £500k - let's hope that doesn't get chewed to smithereens in all the excitement.

So, obviously, this small isle soon won't be big enough for the star that is Pudsey, and the big screen surely beckons. Before ye mock, this is not an unprecedented walkies to world-beating success. Here are just five persuasive pooches who have sniffed out global popularity... can Pudsey match them for Tinseltown canniness and Toytown cuteness? I think so...


A beautifully-combed Collie first made it big in Hollywood in 1943 with Lassie Come Home. The pooch's real name was Pal and he went on to feature in six other films until 1951. When his owner and trainer Rudd Weatherwax acquired the Lassie name and trademark from MGM, he even disappeared off on tour, Miley Cyrus-style, to rodeos, fairs, and similar events across America in the early 1950s. Then it was onto TV domination from 1954, and the long-running, Emmy-winning television series with Lassie above his own title. For the next 19 years, a succession of Pal's descendants appeared on the series, and Lassie did for Collies what the Dulux dog did for... big shaggy ones (sorry, dog owners everywhere).


The scene-stealing clown of The Artist and the breakthrough star of this year's awards season, Uggie found fame playing the pet of the film's lead Jean Dujardin's, but this wasn't his first taste of the red carpet. The Jack Russell had previously fought for screen time in romantic drama Water for Elephants, alongside actors Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, but it was walkie-not-talkie The Artist that made his agent a very happy man.

Littlest Hobo

The Littlest Hobo never actually had a name, but that didn't prevent the ownerless German Shepherd befriending all sorts of types as he travelled around his native Canada, stopping to sniff out trouble, adventure, danger, proceeding to find help or rescue people himself if called upon but, despite many charmed characters' attempts to take him in in the course of the long-running series (1979 to 1985, after an original film in 1958), he always slipped off by himself by the end of each episode. "Maybe tomorrow..." he'll find a kennel to call home, but until then, think of him as a enigmatic type, a canine Lone Ranger.

Eddie from Fraiser

Eddie belonged to Martin (actor John Mahoney), Dr Frasier Crane's father in the most successful spin-off sitcom of all time. Because Martin was forced by injury to live with his psychiatrist son, Eddie played witness to all the romantic goings-on in the Crane household. Martin was not particularly expressive with either of his sons, but he always managed a "I love you" for his beloved Jack Russell. Eddie was played by veteran canine actor Moose, celebrated for his ability to fix Dr Crane with a long, mournful stare that would silence even Frasier. Moose retired from the screen and lived to a ripe old age of 15 (and was replaced for a short time by Enzo on the sitcom he had made his own).

Rin Tin Tin

He was the real deal - a veteran of war, discovered as one of a litter of shell-shocked pups in war-ravaged Lorraine and brought to Hollywood, a town he made his own. From 1922, the dark-eyed German Shepherd dog starred in 23 - yes, really! - films - and was one of the American box office's biggest ever draws. He sent out autographs of his own paw-print to millions of fans, and had his own paw-star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Radio and TV also came calling, and when RTT finally went to the kennel in the sky, his canny owner kept the franchise going with doggy descendants. There will never be another... until now, possibly?