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A dog's lifeat the BBCis ending...

Byline: By Gareth Rogers South Wales Echo

A real-life news hound is hanging up his lead after six happy years.

Ten-year-old Lynton has been working as a guide dog for BBC sports reporter Neil Prior, 28, and has been a regular face around the BBC Wales centre in Llandaff, Cardiff.

After six years of guiding Neil around the BBC offices, he will be sorely missed by staff there when he goes to live with Neil's parents in Swansea.

Neil, currently in Southampton training with a new guide dog, said: 'Lynton has been my left hand man for 10 years and I am going to really miss him.

'But I am not sure the people at the BBC will - he is always walking in on filming and has been known to lock work experience students in cupboards.'

Lynton rose to fame after a rendezvous with David Blunkett's guide dog Lucy, in 2004, while the politician was visiting Cardiff.

Neil said: 'I was sent out to interview Mr Blunkett and I was already nervous, but when Lynton saw Lucy, he got very excited and had to be taken away by some of the security staff.

'He is famous for that at the BBC.'

But Neil, who has been blind since he was 13, says he will really miss his best friend, who is retiring due to old age and arthritis.

He said: 'Lynton loves it at the BBC. He just leaves me to it while he goes off and does his own thing.

'It will be a bit like losing a mate because he always comes out drinking with me.

'He knows most of the pubs in Cardiff now and I have trained him to pick out the most attractive women.

'To be honest, he could probably go on for a few more years, but I am glad that he is retiring while he can still have a life.' Famous people Lynton has met: Jonathan Davies - The former Wales outside half was caught out by the BBC's number one guide dog during an office cricket match in Llandaff.

The now former Home Secretary David Blunkett - Lynton is famed for his encounter with Mr Blunkett's guide dog Lucy.

Steve Hansen - The Kiwi coach abruptly described Lynton as 'The worst guide dog he had ever seen.'

Frances Donovan - BBC staff believe Lynton has a 'major crush' on the popular news reader.

Bob Humphries - The chief sports presenter is reportedly best mates with the newshound.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 20, 2007
Words:410
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