Joe swash at the national tv awards

Our celebrity Pet Factor judge, Joe Swash, talks pet, prizes and Pudsey

The former EastEnders actor reveals all about his love for animals

Our celebrity Pet Factor judge, Joe Swash, talks pet, prizes and Pudsey

Have you entered our Pet Factor competition yet? What are you waiting for? To celebrate our beloved furry friends, Good Living has launched its very own competition to reward some of the most incredible animals in the UK – from cute cats and heroic dogs to fashion conscious guinea pigs!

We’ll be handing out four prestigious awards – Most Stylish, Best Companion, Top Hero and Ace Adventurer – to four amazing animals and each winner will be rewarded its very own magazine photoshoot and a pet pamper hamper worth £100.

With the competition in full swing and the entries flooding in Good Living caught up with our celebrity judge, actor and presenter, Joe Swash to talk pets, prizes and Pudsey...

How do you feel about being a judge for our competition?

I’m really excited. I adore animals so it’s an honour to be involved. My nan and grandad had loads of pets when I was growing up including two Alsatian Ridgeback dogs called Rebel and Harvey. I was always round their house playing with them and taking them for walks. They’re  beautiful animals and great with kids. 

What do you think about our Pet Factor categories? 

I love them. I’m looking forward to seeing fashionable cats and heroic hamsters! And Best Companion is a really nice category to have – pets are more than just friends, they can totally change people’s lives and be a real comfort and support.  

So Joe, are you a cat person or a dog person? 

I think cats are very cool. I love the fact they’re so independent. They’re like mini tigers and do their own thing, coming and going as they please. But I also love dogs. I’ve got a Maltese Terrier called Bertie. He’s 13 so he’s getting on a bit now. When he was younger he was crazy. You’d let him off the lead and wouldn’t see him for the next hour. 

Has your girlfriend Stacey (former X Factor finalist, singer and presenter Stacey Solomon) got any pets?

She’s got a tiny Teacup Chihuahua called Theo – who’s literally the size of a cup – and a Beagle called Willow. We haven’t even tried to take Stacey’s two out for walks with Bertie because he doesn’t like younger dogs. He’s a bit of a grumpy old fella these days!

Besides Bertie do you have any other furry friends sharing your home? 

I had two hamsters, Dusty and Sandy, until fairly recently but sadly Dusty and Sandy are no more. They passed away at the end of last year. 

What were you favourite creatures and critters when you were taking part in I’m A Celebrity in the Australian jungle? (Joe won the series in 2008 and has worked as a co-presenter of the spin off ITV2 show). 

I really loved the jungle toads. They make this amazing sound which is actually very soothing and nice to fall asleep to.  

Tropical toads are the only creatures you’ve worked with are they?

When I was in EastEnders playing Micky Miller, the Miller family had an Irish Wolfhound called Ghengis who was lovely. A huge great shaggy beast. And soon I’m going to be working with Pudsey from Britain’s Got Talent. We’re doing a show together called MISSION ImPUDSEYble. Pudsey’s adorable. I’d already met him a couple of times before when I was doing a CBBC programme called The Dog Ate My Homework. 

Is your son Harry, 8, an animal lover?

Oh my god, he’s animal mad! He’s got five rabbits, a tropical frog, a cat called Dim Sum, and a turtle called Rabbit. Harry lives with me for half the week so he comes for walks with me and Bertie. He’s very excited I’m one of the judges for Pet Factor… I’m going to get him to help me out!  

Enter your furry friend in the Pet Factor competition here. Upload a photo of your pet and tell us in no more than 200 words why they deserve to win one of our four awards. Closing date for entries is April 25. 

To see Joe and Pudsey in Mission ImPUDSEYble go to

UK tour starts 25th March and ends 5th June.