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UK award winner on big screen

A GERMAN Shepherd Dog owner and trainer from Hampshire joined Hollywood stars Christian Bale and Sir Michael Caine when he appeared in this year's blockbuster film, The Dark Knight.

Peter BranchAward-winning security dog expert Peter Branch, who runs Newbury Lodge Kennels, appears with his dogs Meg and Conan, which chase after Batman in the film's final sequence. He said: "I went to see it and you can see my face quite clearly. My boy saw me and cheered and told everybody that was his dad!"

His role came about when Mic Martin, who presents the BBC3 programme Dog Borstal, contacted him and told him a then-unnamed film needed dog handlers.

He added: "We weren't told what it was until we got there, and it wasn't until we went into the costume department and were given the Gotham City police uniforms that we really realised we were going to be in it - it was surreal."

Mr Branch and his dogs have won titles in the past including the national security trials in 2004 and 2005 and last year the UK championships.

Meg, a German Shepherd, and Conan, a Malinois also appear at several points in close-up, snarling at Batman.