Channel 4’s Radzi full of praise for BASC rings at Crufts


Crufts is not just a dog show. It’s an event that attracts 155,000 visitors across its four-day schedule, and for BASC, a platform by which we can showcase the merits of working gundogs to a broader audience. 

It was with that in mind that we were delighted to speak on Gundog Day with Radzi Chinyanganya – co-presenter of Channel 4’s Crufts coverage – about the importance of BASC’s gamekeeper rings. 

Radzi was quick to praise BASC’s rings at the event during a backstage interview with our media team.

The former Blue Peter presenter said: “The BASC rings at Crufts and the people who work in them are summed up for me in one word – passion. Everyone loves what they do. 

“You see people of all ages, and when you see the relationship between human and dog it’s very special – especially with young people. That’s what I am really passionate about. I used to work in kids’ TV and to see what young people can do is always amazing, but to see what they can do with a dog…it’s like the dog understands the young person and so they both adapt to each other and I think it makes a bond for life.”

Young handler Daisy Upton ‘a very special girl’

Radzi was clearly taken with little Daisy Upton, who made a return visit to Crufts to show Labrador Sail in the young handler under 14 class.

Daisy, eight, has been undergoing long-term treatment – including spending nine months in hospital – for a neuroblastoma, a cancer she refers to as ‘the monster in my tummy’ but continues to take part in working tests with the family’s dogs.

The presenter interviewed Daisy at Crufts after her turn in the ring and was full of admiration for her plucky spirit.

“I think in life we celebrate famous people and we celebrate achievements and awards, but for me the real heroes are people like Daisy, people who have gone through a lot and you wouldn’t even know,” he said. “She has always got a smile on her face, she’s bubbly, she’s warm, she’s confident – she’s a very special girl.”

My favourite gundog

Asked what his favourite gundog breed was, Radzi confessed to being caught in a dilemma: “I can’t choose my favourite gundog because I’ve got two – it’s the Spanish water dog, and the Lagotto Romagnolo.”

He explained how a year ago he had set up a film to find out what the perfect dog for him would be… how it would fit into his lifestyle – “I have asthma for example, so a dog that moults a lot I might struggle with.”

Other criteria included a breed that he could take for walks, but would be happy to stay with his mum or go into kennels when he was working, and one that was calm but could also be charismatic and energetic.

The resulting shortlist was an exciting surprise for Radzi. He said: “As soon as I saw the Spanish water dog, I genuinely fell in love. I actually felt emotional – I was holding back the tears. I thought ‘hah… I have actually found my dog!’

“So I thought, I am either going to have a Spanish water dog, or a Lagotto Romagnolo.”

Radzi also found time in the day to visit the BASC rings. See more below.