Meet the true stars of Paul O'Grady's hit series...
After six series of profiling the sterling work of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in his award-winning ITV series For the Love of Dogs, Paul O’Grady feels like part of the furniture at the South London rescue centre.
"When overseas visitors come to Battersea, they think I work there as one of the kennel staff which now I think of it, isn’t far from the truth!" chuckled dog-lover Paul, 62, who's back tonight at 8.30pm on ITV.
As always, though, the true stars of the show are the dogs who are all desperately searching for a forever home, and as the series returns, there are plenty more on parade.
Here Paul O'Grady has revealed the heart-warming stories in the first episode of For Love of Dogs
"Some of the dogs at Battersea look like they have never had a kind word or a square meal, but others have had too much of the good life. Sharpei cross Max should have weighed three stone, but he was over six! His owner had passed away and we don’t know how long he had been by himself, but he had been chewing his paw with boredom. He was too lazy to exercise so we needed to get him moving about and entertain him."
"Dalmatian cross Fern was found on the streets, and staff at the Old Windsor branch of Battersea in Berkshire realised she was pregnant. Big dogs like Dalmatians have litters of between six and nine pups, but Fern had 11 – not 101 – but still quite a number so she was done in. I had to resist the urge to slip a couple of the pups into my coat pocket. Fern is a lovely mum and had to get used to being without her pups. She wasn’t happy and got agitated but nature eventually took care of her postnatal hormones."
"Yorkshire Terrier Wilma was found wandering around Battersea Park. She was infested with fleas and she had been scratching so much that all the fur she could reach had fallen out so she was front half Yorkie and back half naked mole rat. The staff treated the fleas with a medicated shampoo so she was much less itchy and her fur grew back. You’d think that all that had been inflicted on her, she’d keep away from human beings, but she’s so friendly. I tried desperately not to fall in love with her."
Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs returns this evening on ITV at 8.30pm.
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David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.
Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough.
David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.
Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!