31/01/2019 14:14 GMT

Ben Fogle vs DJ Nihal: ITV's Top 100 Dogs Has Somehow Gifted Us This Truly Odd Celebrity Beef

Well, we didn't see this coming.

Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock/Richard Young/Mark Richards/Associated Newspapers
The staffie pictured is not part of this row, this is a file photo, OK? 

Robbie Williams vs. Jimmy Page, Noel Edmonds against Bristol City Council – sometimes there’s nothing better than a truly unexpected celebrity feud.

And now, thanks to Ben Fogle and BBC Radio 5 Live’s DJ Nihal, we have another truly odd clash to add to the list.

It all starts with Britain’s Top 100 Dogs

This should give you an idea of how odd this is. 

ITV’s Top 100 Dogs saw Staffordshire bull terriers named Britain’s best pooches, in a programme presented by Ben and Sara Cox (why this show exists in the first place is a mystery, but we don’t have time to get into that right now).

After staffies came out victorious, Nihal discussed the show on his 5 Live programme, telling an anecdote about a “very well known TV presenter who was once quite rude about my staffie, in public”. Spoiler alert: That well-known star was supposedly Ben Fogle.

“My wife is in Queen’s Park,” Nihal claimed. “And she’s with our kids, and our staffie. “This fella has his kid, and goes up to his kid, and says, ‘Don’t go near that dog. They’re nasty dogs. Or, they’re dangerous dogs’.”

Now, we’d like to emphasise the “claimed” in the paragraph above, as presenter Ben has vehemently denied Nihal’s accusation, labelling it “untrue and libellous” in a string of tweets: 

Yes, it did escalate incredibly quickly, and boy did it continue

We’re going to just screengrab an exchange they then had on Twitter, which definitely could have taken place in the DMs:


Now you’ll notice that in there, Nihal invited Ben to appear on his 5 Live programme and clear this up once and for all. So you could be forgiven for thinking this saga ended with an on-air reconciliation.

Readers, it did not.

According to the Sun, Ben did try and go on Nihal’s show, turning up at the BBC’s London studios to do so without realising, they say, that 5 Live is recorded in Manchester.

The tabloid paper reckons he was then “kicked out” of the studio before appearing on Tony Livesey’s show as something of a consolation.

But Ben’s rep tells a different story

He was offered the Drive slot as Nihal wouldn’t talk to him, so he accepted that and stayed at the BBC to do the interview,” they told HuffPost UK, shooting down claims Ben didn’t know 5 Live was based in Manchester and adding that he ”wasn’t furious” about the saga.

“It was a mischievous thought to see if Nihal was prepared to talk to Ben and stand by his story,” they added. “Which he didn’t think he would for a moment.”

Clearing this up once and for all, the rep pointed out Ben is now on his way to Africa to film a new series about conservation and the environment, concluding that he has “other things on his mind”.

Nihal has tweeted to, sort of correcting things:

Will this be the end of it? Probably? Maybe? Who knows, to be honest. Watch this space.