The rags-to-riches tale of Stanley – the breakout star of the BBC competition show Pooch Perfect

He was best in show on Thursday night, leaving his co-host Sheridan Smith in the shade.

But Stanley, break-out star of the BBC’s Pooch Perfect dog-grooming competition, hasn’t always led such a glamorous existence.

He was twice abandoned as a puppy before his potential as a loving pet – with a face for TV – was spotted by his owner.

Stanley, whose real name is Ponti, made his presenting debut alongside stage and screen actress Sheridan Smith, 39, (pictured) on the show

Stanley, whose real name is Ponti, made his presenting debut alongside stage and screen actress Sheridan Smith, 39, (pictured) on the show 

Stanley, whose real name is Ponti, made his presenting debut alongside stage and screen actress Miss Smith, 39, on the show.

It has a format similar to the Great British Bake Off and follows contestants hoping to be named the nation’s best dog groomer.

But the opening episode – viewed by more than 2.6million people – was all about Stanley, three, a Collie, bichon frise and cavalier King Charles spaniel cross.

Laura Ingall, 42, who runs Pets On Set, which trains animals for TV and Film, took Stanley (far left), then 16 weeks old, home to Hampshire

 Laura Ingall, 42, who runs Pets On Set, which trains animals for TV and Film, took Stanley (far left), then 16 weeks old, home to Hampshire

Miss Ingall, 42, from Hampshire, said: ‘Stanley and Sheridan are very good friends both on and off set. He said she was lovely to work with'

Miss Ingall, 42, from Hampshire, said: ‘Stanley and Sheridan are very good friends both on and off set. He said she was lovely to work with’

He won over viewers playing board game Guess Who? with Miss Smith, dressing up, and barking as the signal for contestants to start a challenge.

Stanley was taken as part of a litter to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in south-west London, and was rehomed. 

But his new owners couldn’t train him and so took him to Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre in Surrey.

He won over viewers playing board game Guess Who? with Miss Smith (pictured), dressing up, and barking as the signal for contestants to start a challenge

He won over viewers playing board game Guess Who? with Miss Smith (pictured), dressing up, and barking as the signal for contestants to start a challenge

Miss Smith, who has six dogs of her own, said: ‘Stanley (pictured) is the star of the show – I am in fact his co-host. I am sure he is going to win an Oscar soon enough'

Miss Smith, who has six dogs of her own, said: ‘Stanley (pictured) is the star of the show – I am in fact his co-host. I am sure he is going to win an Oscar soon enough’

Stanley was taken as part of a litter to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in south-west London, and was rehomed

Stanley was taken as part of a litter to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in south-west London, and was rehomed

Laura Ingall, 42, who runs Pets On Set, which trains animals for TV and Film, took Stanley, then 16 weeks old, home to Hampshire.

Since then, he has appeared in TV adverts but Pooch Perfect is his biggest role yet. 

Miss Ingall, 42, from Hampshire, said: ‘Stanley and Sheridan are very good friends both on and off set. He said she was lovely to work with.’ 

Miss Smith, who has six dogs of her own, said: ‘Stanley is the star of the show – I am in fact his co-host. I am sure he is going to win an Oscar soon enough.’

Pooch Perfect continues on BBC1 on Thursday at 8pm.

Stanley (pictured) has appeared in TV adverts but Pooch Perfect is his biggest role yet

Stanley (pictured) has appeared in TV adverts but Pooch Perfect is his biggest role yet

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