Give the dog a microphone. What next?

Manufactured pop bands are all the rage at the moment, as svengalis such as Simon Cowell take over the charts – and ITV’s scheduling. Pop idols Will Young, Gareth Gates, Hear’Say… the Diary’s bedroom walls are covered with their images.

But now there’s something new on the block. A pop star who’s not only manufactured, but mass-produced (probably in China). Yes, ladies and gentleman, it’s the Churchill nodding dog! You know the one – it sits in the back of a car, selling insurance and pretending not to be Bob Mortimer. Unsatisfied with this small stage, Bakshelf Dog (sic) has decided to release a Christmas single, and in the great tradition of manufactured pop it’s a cover version, this time of dodgy Euro-hit No Limits. No, the Diary won’t sing it for you. Needless to say, in true dodgy pop tradition, the song will be sung by another artist and mimed by Bakshelf.

Mustn’t mock, though – the record is to benefit the National Canine Defence League, so buy as many as you can afford. And if you want to help dogs even more, don’t play it when there’s one in the room.

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