Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver reveals why a certain someone won’t be returning to the Corrie set…
It’s fair to say, when it comes to men, Coronation Street favourite Eileen Grimshaw couldn’t pick a loyal boyfriend if she had full access to Weatherfield police force’s criminal database!
Fortunately, in real life star Sue Cleaver, who plays her, has the most trustworthy and devoted pal anyone could wish for – her adorable dog George Paws.
Tonight Sue is among the famous faces - including I’m a Celebrity winner Harry Redknapp and his Bulldogs Lulu and Barney, Penny Lancaster with her Cavapoo Bubbles and Martin Kemp plus poodle Popsey - sharing stories about their special bond with their four-legged friends in ITV’s canine countdown, Britain’s Favourite Dogs, hosted by Sara Cox and Ben Fogle.
Here Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver, 55, takes a break from filming to tell us more…
We love the name George Paws. How did you decide on it?
Sue Cleaver: "He’s a rescue dog and was already named George, so I added to it. He’s gone from plain George to Gorgeous George Paws!"
How did you come to adopt him?
SC: "Poor George had a bit of a sad time. My friend owns kennels and she always keeps two places free for rescue dogs. When she found George Paws he was very skinny yet she thought she’d be able to find him a home… but no one wanted him! After he was with her for nearly two years she approached me and asked if I’d do a newspaper article to try and get him a home. I thought it was a great idea but wanted to have him for a couple of days first. Of course he came home with me and has been with us ever since! My family love him."
What do you know about him?
SC: "He’s probably about eight or nine years old. He’s a mixed breed with staffie in him. For Britain’s Favourite Dogs he’s having his DNA tested – it’s the same as human DNA testing, his mouth was swabbed - so we’ll finally find know what he is!"
What else did you and George Paws get up to for Britain’s Favourite Dogs?
SC: "I took him to Coronation Street and he had a little look round Street Cars. This was his first visit to Corrie and I’m not planning on bringing him back in! He peed on set and started humping a member of the crew’s legs…"
Do you think he enjoyed his set visit though?
SC: "Yes, but he got too excited! Occasionally he had to be taken for a bit of a walk to calm him down. When he got home he was exhausted."
So we won’t see him guest starring in Corrie, then?
SC: "No! Corrie had to be a dog-free zone for George the day he came in, because he gets quite nervous around other dogs. I would like Eileen to get a dog though – something loyal. She might have more luck with dogs than men!"
What are George’s best and worst habits?
SC: "He’s very soft and cuddly. He just wants to sit on you all day – and he likes to be kissed a lot! He gets excited when my partner and I come in from working on Coronation Street. He’s a very spoiled and much loved doggie. He’s absolutely perfect in the house. His only bad habit is when he comes into our bed at 4am, gets under the covers and puts his head on the pillow next to us. He also barks at these two foxes that come into our garden. They really like taking liberties with George. Sometimes they’ll look through the window at him; he gets very upset!"
Why do you think we’re a nation of dog lovers?
SC: "We always have been, haven’t we? I think it’s the unconditional love they give you. They understand you and become part of the family. We had Alsatians when I was a kid, and I’ve always been a dog lover. Gorgeous George Paws is my favourite. Dogs are good company. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like a dog!"
Finally, before we let you get back to work, which breed of dog would you like to see crowned as Britain’s favourite?
SC: "I really like staffie crossbreeds like Gorgeous Gentleman George Paws. You’ve got to love a mutt!"
Britain’s Top 100 Dogs Live is on ITV at 7.30pm tonight.
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