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Hackney hound strikes up a friendship with dog lover Paul O’ Grady in new ITV1 series

An elderly pooch from east London struck up quite a friendship with comedian and presenter Paul O’ Grady during the filming of a new ITV1 series on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Eight year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Marcel arrived at the world famous rescue Battersea as a stray in November 2011. His roguish antics and cheeky charm won him a legion of fans at the Home and he even had his own Facebook page updating his followers on his daily goings about the Home. In the new ITV1 series viewers will see Marcel entertaining presenter Paul O’ Grady and accompanying him on a visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea to meet the army veterans.

Marcel was at Battersea for 130 days before finding his dream home with John Rooke and his wife of Lavender Grove and the Rooke’s experienced an emotional farewell at the Home as staff and volunteers gathered to see Marcel off.

John says: “We love Staffies and the oldies are the best. Marcel’s a super chap and it was touching to see how loved he was by everyone at Battersea. There was such a turn out to send him off, with lots of tears and smiles, which were all captured on camera. We can’t wait to watch Marcel’s story on the TV and I’m sure it’ll make him even more of a star in our local area.”

Every day, an average of 14 dogs come through Battersea’s doors after being abandoned, given up by their owners or found straying. The new documentary series will look at how Battersea works relentlessly to rescue and rehome these animals in need of its help. The seven-part series goes out every Monday evening at 8pm on ITV1.

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