Pooch Perfect - start date and everything you need to know

Pooch Perfect Sheridan Smith
(Image credit: BBC/Beyond Productions)

Sheridan Smith hosts BBC1's super-cute dog grooming contest Pooch Perfect

Release the hounds for BBC1’s fun new dog grooming contest Pooch Perfect!

The series, hosted by Sheridan Smith, sees dog groomers from around the country show off their talents by giving a variety of gorgeous canines some remarkable transFURmations!

Here’s everything we know about Pooch Perfect with Sheridan Smith…

When does Pooch Perfect with Sheridan Smith start?

The eight-part series begins on BBC1 on Thursday 7th January at 8pm.

What’s it about?

The show sees 16 dog groomers compete to be crowned the nation’s best dog groomer. In each heat, four contestants tackle two tasks, beginning with the Breed Makeover Challenge, in which they give a precise trim to a specific type of dog, starting with Shih Tzus. Then, they demonstrate their creativity on a breed of their choice in the Dogwalk Challenge. After their four-legged clients have showcased their new looks for their owners and the judges, two groomers win a place in the quarter-finals.

“The eliminations are emotional," says Sheridan. “The groomers take it seriously. Many have salons and have won competitions but this is their reputation on the line. It’s a lot of pressure and the clock’s always on.”

Who’s in it with Sheridan Smith?

Alongside Sheridan Smith, who is tackling her first entertainment presenting role, is her canine co-host Stanley. Meanwhile champion groomers Verity Hardcastle and Colin Taylor will be judging the contestants’ skills at snipping and shaving.

“It’s such a fun, camp show,” says Sheridan. “When I do factual dramas it’s hard after crying all day to switch off. But with this, I’m just laughing and cuddling dogs all day. It’s doggy heaven! And I was obsessed with Stanley!”

Pooch Perfect Sheridan Smith

Sheridan Smith with Stanley and the first four contestants in Pooch Perfect (Image credit: BBC/Beyond Productions)

What else do we know?

The wellbeing of the dogs was a key priority for the production team and animal welfare experts were a constant presence on set.

“Grooming’s all about making the dog feel safe,” says Sheridan. “We picked dogs who enjoyed being groomed and our animal welfare experts and Bolu, our resident vet, made sure they got comfort breaks and water or a play. They had a lovely time.”

MORE: Sheridan Smith - things you didn't know about the actress

How many dogs does Sheridan Smith have?

"I have six dogs already and I was warned not to bring any dogs home from filming before we started!

"There was many a time where I wanted to, but I promised my mum no more livestock, because I also have donkeys. The donkeys live at the field at the end of my garden, they are gorgeous, they are similar to dogs in that they are loving and loyal, and they know their owner.

"Donkeys are always in pairs, you rarely see a donkey on their own, so we have two sisters and a couple, they always stay together, I think it’s so sweet and romantic!"

Is there a trailer for Pooch Perfect?

Yep and it sees a string of pooches take to the catwalk. Or should that be dogwalk?!


Pooch Perfect begins on BBC1 on Thursday 7th January at 8pm.

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.