VIDEO: Pudsey gets the freedom of Wellingborough

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Ashleigh and Pudsey were granted the freedom of Wellingborough for a day to help promote Pudsey’s new film.

Mayor Jim Bass welcomed the pair and led a short ceremony where a flag was raised outside the council offices.

Cllr Bass said: “It’s fantastic. Ashleigh is a local girl made good and it’s great that she’s been to Hollywood and achieved all she has.”

Cllr Bass added that freedom of the borough is a huge achievement usually reserved for senior council members.

He added: “Historically, anyone with the freedom of the borough was allowed to bring their sheep into the town.

“I don’t think that will be happening today, but I’m sure Pudsey would be pretty good at rounding up sheep if he had to.”

After the ceremony, the pair had a short tour of the town in the mayoral car.

Ashleigh, 19, said: “I don’t think a dog’s had the freedom of Wellingborough before. To have it for a day is pretty cool.”

The pair later attended the county premiere of the film, which is released nationwide on Friday, in Northampton.

The film stars the eight-year-old dog as the hero alongside some of the country’s best-loved actors, including John Sessions, Jessica Hynes, Olivia Colman and Claire Sweeney.

Pudsey himself is voiced by Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams.

Ashleigh, who also attended the West End premiere in Leicester Square on Sunday, said: “It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

“It’s been fun, and for it to be out in cinemas is quite surreal and weird, but exciting.

“We have put so much time and effort into this movie and I hope everyone loves it as much as we do.

“I think it’s a really good fun family film – there’s a bit of comedy and it’s also got some jokes for the adults that the kids aren’t going to get.

“It’s a feel-good film, a very British film.”

Ashleigh and Pudsey have survived the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel, including Simon Cowell, and have also performed for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.

Ashleigh says Pudsey also seemed to take the filming of his movie in his stride – and he also captured the hearts of the movie’s cast and crew.

She added: “I think everyone, as soon as they meet Pudsey, falls in love with him, and that was exactly the same for the cast.

“He loved being the centre of attention.”

Ashleigh herself also has a role in the film – providing the voice of Daisy the cow – but she is due to return to our screens next year in the second series of her children’s TV programme.

She added: “I want to get more into presenting. At the moment it’s all about the film but next week I get on to filming my CBBC show, Who Let the Dogs Out and About?”

The duo will also be starring in a different type of role this Christmas – in a panto in Bristol.

Ashleigh said she could still hardly believe how much things had changed since the first exploits of their Britain’s Got Talent adventure were aired in April 2012.

She said: “The past two years have just been crazy.

“We have had so many incredible experiences.

“We wouldn’t have had them if it wasn’t for all the people who supported us, especially the people of Wellingborough, so a big thank you to them.




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