When the country needed cheering up during the first coronavirus lockdown, up stepped sports commentator Andrew Cotter to provide some cheer.
Cotter developed an ardent following for his commentary on the adventures of his Labradors Olive and Mabel.
The Scot mainly works for the BBC, covering rugby, tennis, golf and athletics, but with all sporting events cancelled he need to find another way to fill his time.
And there’s where Olive and Mabel’s competitiveness comes into play, with Cotter filming his pooches during every day life.
His first video came at dinner time, when Olive and Mabel battled it out in a race to empty their bowls.
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“You can feel the tension. Olive focused, relentless, tasting absolutely nothing,” he said on the video.
Cotter and his dogs quickly went viral, with the video being viewed more than 30 million times and a host of famous faces taking delight in the action.
With the Scot clearly cheering up the nation, he started making more videos of Olive and Mabel’s battles between each other.
And despite its devastating impact on the country, Cotter revealed that it was lockdown itself which gave him the idea to begin filming.
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“Those first two videos were very much of that moment,” he told the Guardian.
“The world’s turned upside down, nothing makes sense any more, and here’s a sports commentator having to commentate on his dogs.”
Cotter was quickly flooded with requests from people who were swapping supporting Manchester United for cheering on one of the canine champions.
And the commentator has given a helpful insight into his dogs’ personalities so fans can pick their side.
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“Mabel is slightly more juvenile, slightly more scatty – she is younger,” Cotter told the Big Issue.
“Olive is more together. She’s deeply, deeply affectionate but she’ll have moments where she likes her own company.
"Mabel doesn’t like her own company, Mabel likes everybody else’s. You try to develop and show those characters in the videos you make.”
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