Danny the dog bounds into theatrical record books

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A talented terrier who appeared in the musical Annie for a decade has officially been entered into the record books.

Danny, a soft-coated wheaten terrier, has earned a place in the Guinness World Records for “most stage appearances by a dog for the same role”, after he played Sandy in the musical for 1,365 performances.

The dog, owned by Rita Mansell, celebrated 10 years appearing in Chris Moreno’s touring production in November 2011. At the time, The Stage reported on his achievement, with Mansell hopeful that the canine’s career would secure him an official world record.

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Danny has played Sandy in the touring production of Annie for 10 years

Now, after 18-months of rigorous checks, including written statements from his fellow cast members, Danny has officially received a certificate confirming his success. He is the first dog to have set such a record.

Mansell said: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. Danny is a soft-coated, wheaten terrier and they are lovely dogs. He took to the theatre at seven months old and never stopped.”

She added Danny had been recognised for his professional appearances, but said it does not include the amateur productions he has done and continues to do.

According to Mansell, Danny has been rewarded for his record with “lovely meals”, including organic food.

“He eats better than I do,” she joked, adding that Danny loves all the attention that comes with being a performing dog. She revealed he had appeared in Annie alongside Su Pollard, who verified his achievement to Guinness and who “tickled him under his chin” every night.

 

Famous performing animals:

• Bernie Winters was well known for performing with his St Bernard dog, Schnorbitz. Schnorbitz once fell into a swimming pool and was rescued by Barbara Windsor.

• US entertainers Siegfried and Roy were well known for performing with white lions and tigers. In 2003 Roy was bitten on the neck by a seven-year-old male tiger named Montecore.

Pudsey is a dancing Border Collie belonging to Ashleigh Butler. They won Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. Simon Cowell said the dog was “one of the best dancing dogs” he had ever seen. The pair have gone on to appear on television, in panto and at the Royal Variety Performance.

• Britain’s last circus elephant Anne retired in 2011 and started a new life at Longleat Safari Park. Her treatment at the hands of her former owners was well publicised, after she was shown being beaten.

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