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Charing Heath's Spud shines in Channel 4 documentary Star Paws as face of paint company Dulux

By Samantha Williams

Old English sheepdog Spud can now be considered one of Kent's finest exports after starring in a TV show about famous animals.

Filming and posing for the camera is nothing new for Ashford dog Spud, who is paint company Dulux's longest running mascot

Since March this year, the 10-year-old has had 29 jobs - including public appearances, photo shoots and filming adverts – and in total has taken part in more than 100 appearances for Dulux since joining in 2007.

Dulux's longest serving mascot Spud

During his career, Spud has filmed at Buckingham Palace, on Westminster Bridge and at Marble Arch.

He has even met pop star Ollie Murs and earlier this year he took 18,000 runners to the start line of the Colour Run in London, which was sponsored by Dulux.

Owner Gina Willis, who has had Spud since he was a puppy, said: "It has been a busy and varied year, but he is a brilliant dog.

Spud at the start line of the Colour Run

"Old English sheepdogs can be quite boisterous and immature, but Spud is very laid back. He is a natural.

"He is very good at photo shoots and catalogue work. They call him 'one take Spud'.

"He particularly likes taking pictures with young women, and he is wonderful with children.

"Last week, we went on Good Morning Britain and Spud was given his own dressing room, with a star on the door with his name, plus a bed, and a gold bone."

Spud lives in Charing Heath with Mrs Willis, her husband Peter and their two other dogs, Herbert, another Old English sheepdog, and Portuguese sheepdog Daisy.

Owner Gina Willis with Herbert and Spud

Last week, the family featured in a TV show for Channel 4, called Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets, which explored the lives of animal agents, pet owners and the kittens, puppies and other pets that star in adverts and viral web videos.

Mrs Willis said: "I was very pleased with the documentary. The team were wonderful."

Although the spotlight was aimed at Spud, four-year-old Herbert demanded the camera's attention just as much in the documentary.

Mrs Willis said: "Herbert is a great character and much more a typical Old English sheepdog. His favourite time of the day is when the postman arrives.

"He is bonkers, but can be very sensitive, too. He did his first appearance at seven months old and he was a great success. He was a show-stopper at a recent event."

Spud on a job outside the Houses of Parliament

Retired secretary Mrs Willis can spend up to 10 hours grooming Spud for an appearance, which includes brushing him out and bathing him before brushing him twice more.

She added: "Spud still gets really excited about going out, but he is probably due to retire next year. He'll go on as long as he can, but he'll tell me when he is ready.

"You have to enjoy what you're doing and the dog must enjoy it too. First and foremost he is our pet.

"I'll probably never get another dog like him."

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