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Kent's Melanie Raccoon lands her own TV show after failing to impress Simon Cowell

A bicycle-riding raccoon whose many talents failed to impress Simon Cowell is now hoping to hit the big-time with her own TV show.

Three-year-old Melanie Raccoon - who can clap, dance and ring a bell - got the big red buzzer from the Britain's Got Talent judges when she auditioned in 2013.

But the experience has not deterred the Kent-based pet, who now faces the prospect of starring in her own show after being "talent spotted" by TV producer John Gubba.

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The raccoon can also ride a bike
The raccoon can also ride a bike
Melanie Raccoon pushing a miniature shopping trolley
Melanie Raccoon pushing a miniature shopping trolley

Filming is due to start next month on the first episode of a children's television programme made by independent production company VSI TV - which will then be previewed by potential buyers at Cannes.

VSI TV owner and producer-director Mr Gubba said: "People say never work with animals or children. But I have filmed many animal stars and Melanie has that special X Factor that people are going to fall in love with."

Her owner Kimberly Unger said: "This is wonderful news and I never stopped believing that my little baby girl is destined for super-stardom.

The multi-talented Melanie Raccoon
The multi-talented Melanie Raccoon
Melanie Raccoon takes centre stage on Britain's Got Talent
Melanie Raccoon takes centre stage on Britain's Got Talent
Melanie Raccoon can also ride a scooter
Melanie Raccoon can also ride a scooter

"I have the most unbelievable bond with little Melanie. Melanie is so friendly with people of all ages and with other animals.

"She is accustomed to travelling in cars, buses and trains, walking alongside traffic, going into stores, staying overnight in hotels and B&Bs. She has even been to school.

"Raccoons do not make good pets for most people, especially because they can be mischievous."

Video: Watch Melanie Raccoon in action

American-born Kimberly, who arrived in England five years ago, continued: "My aim was to spend as much time as possible to socialise and train her so that I could gain a better understanding of raccoon intelligence.

"Raccoons are exceptionally intelligent animals and have not been studied in depth since the early 1900s. She has the intelligence of a toddler."

But not everyone is impressed with Melanie's tricks. Kimberly faced a backlash from animal rights groups when Melanie performed circus-style stunts at a show at Bluewater in 2013.

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