When we think of Britain’s Got Talent, we think of the likes of Susan Boyle, Diversity and George Sampson. What we don’t necessarily think of is policeman and his dog! That was until born and raised South Londoner Dave Wardell, a policeman, walked onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage with his crime-fighting partner German Shepard Finn. Before the audition, Dave described Finn as his ‘best friend since he was a puppy’ and joked that ‘he’s got steak waiting for him at home if we get four yesses.’
With Dave and Finn being such a unique act, they were invited to jump straight into their audition without explaining what they were going to do with judge Amanda Holden saying ‘We love surprises.’ Dave began the audition by asking judge David Walliams to write an object on a piece of paper and – confusingly – show it to Finn, who appeared to read what was written on the paper. Incredibly, Finn reads what David had written and ‘whispers’ it to Dave!
However, this does not even begin to scratch the surface of what an incredible dog Finn truly is. Dave reveals to the audience whilst on duty as a policeman, Finn saved his life by jumping in front of an attacker wielding a knife and was severely injured in the process. Even the usually impassive Simon Cowell was moved to tears! After four yesses (and a well deserved steak for Finn), Dave and Finn progressed to the Semi-Finals where they won the public vote and advanced into the Final.
In their Final performance, Dave asked David to pick a card from a deck, Alesha to pick a picture from a scrapbook and Amanda to pick a word that was written on a dog biscuit. Simon was given the ball that Finn had held in his mouth during their first audition, which contained a slip of paper that contained the items that the Judges had selected. The performance was characteristically moving and earned a standing ovation from both judges and audience alike.
Dave and Finn ultimately finished fifth in the public vote – but that was not the last we saw of this magical duo! In 2019, there was a campaign to extend the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. Known as Finn’s law, the Animal Welfare Bill means that self-defence cannot be used as a line of argument when service animals like Finn are attacked. It also means that the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offenses was increased to five years in prison. Dave also wrote a bestselling book, ‘Fabulous Finn’ that detailed the great bond between him and Finn, and further shows how brilliant of a dog Finn truly was!
Finn sadly passed away peacefully at the age of 14, but Dave is still chasing his passion and working with dogs. Alongside his wife and children, he runs Fabulous Dog Training where they are committed to helping dogs and their owners have a relationship as incredible as the one that Dave and Finn shared. If you would like to see more from Dave and Finn, you can follow him on Instagram. You can also visit Dave’s official website for more information.