Sheridan Smith’s new series Pooch Perfect has been hailed a saviour in a difficult week, with viewers describing the dog grooming series as the ‘perfect antidote’.
The BBC One programme debuted on Thursday evening and sees 16 professional dog groomers put their skills to the test each week, under the watchful eye of pros Colin Taylor, Verity Hardcastle, and vet Bolu Eso.
Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps actress Sheridan hosts the show – and is joined by her own adorable pooch Stanley (who is one of six).
The ultimate winner of Pooch Perfect receives the grand prize of the Golden Stanley, a statue of his highness.
After the first episode, viewers were already taken with the cute series and admitted it was just what they needed after a turbulent start to 2021.
‘OK it’s pretty grim times in the world but #poochperfect is the perfect antidote. @Sheridansmith1 is absolutely electric and full of natural humour,’ one viewer tweeted.
‘#poochperfect is the slice of joy needed in life right now,’ one exclaimed.
One watcher agreed: ‘After a few days of s**t news, #poochperfect on bbc1 is the perfect antidote it’s bake off with dogs and I’m in love.’
A relieved viewer stated: ‘The world needed this programme,’ while another said: ‘This is the cutest programme ever man!’
Episode one saw three contestants – Thomas from County Tyrone, Abbie from Leicestershire, Carla from Cambridgeshire and Kelly D from Somerset – take their clippers to four breeds of dogs including Shih Tzus and Poodles in a bid to work their magic with a makeover and impress the judges.
Prior to the premiere, RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) criticised Pooch Perfect for focusing on dogs’ appearances.
In a statement sent to Metro.co.uk, Dr Samantha Gaines head of the companion animals department at the RSPCA, said: ‘Sadly, the importance of dogs’ appearances has already come at the expense of dog welfare and many breeds now suffer from serious health conditions as a result of the way they’ve been bred to look a certain way.
‘It’s important that programmes like this do not further perpetuate the idea that dogs are ours to objectify and treat as toys or fashion accessories.’
Defending the show, a BBC spokesperson said that ‘throughout the filming of Pooch Perfect, the care and wellbeing of the dogs was of the upmost importance’.
‘On set we had an RSPCA approved Animal Welfare Consultant, a Grooming Consultant, and a Vet, to ensure that we put every precaution in place to keep the dogs safe and well,’ the spokesperson added.
‘Every owner was asked if they were happy for their dogs to have some temporary colour put on them.
‘When colour was used it was kept to a minimum, it washed out almost immediately and was only used in the minority of challenges to demonstrate specific areas of skill and creativity.
‘All the products used were animal safe and temporary and they were used.’
Pooch Perfect is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.