|Other name(s)||"Harvey" ; Sykes of the Manor; "Sykesie"|
|Breed||Terrier Parson Russell|
believed to be in Clifton, Oxfordshire, England
|Died||15 or 16 June 2019 (est. age of 18 years)|
|Nation from||United Kingdom|
|Appearance||Black and white fur|
Sykes (est. 2001 - June 2019) was a dog actor from Clifton, Oxfordshire, England. He was best known in the UK for his appearance as Harvey in Thinkbox's television commercial and, under his real name, in Midsomer Murders (Series fourteen to eighteen, inclusive). He also appeared in several Hollywood blockbusters, as well as a UK TV movie, several series, and a miniseries. Originally found as a stray, he was owned by animal trainer and stunt dog specialist Gill Raddings. Since January 2016 Sykes had been in semi-retirement with him no longer being displayed as available for hire on Gill Raddings' agency website. In September 2016, Midsomer Murders announced that Sykes had retired. He died in June 2019.
Sykes went on to become a star of the big and small screen, and considered "one of the most beloved TV dogs since Lassie." With an article titled, "He irons, he cooks, he acts - Sykes, the thespian terrier," he graced the cover of the Country Life magazine, dated January 25, 2012. Another article about Sykes and his film career was in the The Sunday Times (UK), in February 2012, titled, "Bites, camera, action".
He appeared in many motion pictures, several of which were Hollywood blockbusters. Films that Sykes appeared in include Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Alexander (2004), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Young Victoria (2009), The Duchess (2008), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), The Wolfman (2010), Burke and Hare (2010), Clash of the Titans (2010, and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).
He starred in Thinkbox's award-winning advert "Every Home Needs a Harvey", and became better known to the public as his character in the advert, "Harvey". By the end of 2010, the advert had been viewed on YouTube more than a million times, and had over 11,600 followers on Facebook. The advert was named "Advert of the Year" by a poll of ITV viewers for 2010. Sykes was Dog Trust's Canine Celebrity of the Year.
In September 2010, the John Smith's Brewery advert "Dog Show" began to broadcast, starring Peter Kay and co-starring Sykes as the Jack Russell Terrier. Campaignlive named the ad as one of the Top Ten Best Dog Ads.
Sykes starred in two more Thinkbox adverts. In 2012, he was with his best friend Rabbit. ' Harvey & Rabbit' appeared in Nielsen's study of the Most Liked Ads of 2012 and Campaign's Top 10 TV & Cinema Ads of 2012. In 2014, Harvey was with his leading lady, Harmony. ‘Harvey & Harmony’ was one of the nation's top ten most liked ads of 2015, according to a study by Ebiquity and TNS.
In 2016, K-9 magazine considered Sykes as one of the top 5 dogs in television advertising.
Sykes' TV repertoire was as extensive as his movie appearances. In 2004, he starred in the children's TV series, In2Minds, as Zoe's pet dog, Sirius. He appeared in the British medical series, Casualty, and Dalziel & Pascoe (possibly Series 9), Heartbeat, and Holby City. In 2006, Sykes starred in the TV movie, Pickles: The Dog Who Won the World Cup. In 2007, Sykes appeared on Miss Marple, Series 3, Episode 3, as Donald, a disobedient dog running on the beach and smelling like fish. He even sat on Miss Marple's (Geraldine McEwan) lap. In Return to Cranford (December 2009), he played the part of William Buxton's (Tom Hiddleston) dog named Napoleon. In episode 1, he was very disobedient, but in episode 2, he was well-behaved. He also appeared in Doc Martin (2009), Series 4, Episode 1, as the lead dog of strays interested in the cow hearts the Doc (Martin Clunes) was carrying in a grocery bag.
Sykes was then cast in Midsomer Murders after attracting the attention of series producer, Brian True-May, and appeared in every episode of the show's series 14 through 18 (inclusive). He was DCI John Barnaby's (Neil Dudgeon) family dog. On several occasions, DCI Barnaby called his pet dog "Sykesie" instead of Sykes. Sykes appeared on the List of Midsomer Murders' supporting characters.
Agility competitions and other activities
During his pre-retirement years, Sykes attended fan conventions, and bank openings. He competed at Crufts at the championship level, in agility, under the name of "Sykes of the Manor" with his handler, Alison Pearce.
During the filming of Midsomer Murders' series 18 (2015), Sykes' trainer, Gill Raddings, called the Executive producer and said it was time to retire Sykes at the end of the year. She had noticed that he had started to go deaf. He appeared for the last time in the episode, "Harvest of Souls."
In January 2016, Sykes was in semi-retirement as the Gill Raddings Stunt Dogs website indicated that Sykes was no longer available for hire, but could be made available for producers he had previously worked for. On September 22, 2016, Midsomer Murders officially announced that Sykes, a veteran of the big and small screen, had retired.
The official Harvey Facebook page showed that in September 2016, Harvey, Harmony, Rabbit, and the pups were relaxing. In December 2016, Sykes was running through the grounds of the Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa with a miniature replica of an Oscar in his mouth. Gill Raddings, his trainer, said that Sykes has never been happier. "He is loving life....He's been going for nice long walks every day and is sleeping a bit more on the sofa nowadays. Sykes has had a long working life, plus he's going a bit deaf now, so it was time for him to retire... He still gets recognized a lot, and people come up to him for selfies... He is a very happy chap and has earned every minute of his retirement." Sykes spent his retirement years with his foster family, initially one of two dogs, but over time became of one of six.
|UK||Dogs' Trust||2010||Canine Celebrity of the Year||Thinkbox Advert, "Harvey"||Won|
|UK||The Kennel Club||2013||Crufts||Agility Medium Novice ABC||Qualified|
|UK||The Kennel Club||2013||Discover Dogs||Agility Small Mixi Pairs||Quaified|
|UK||The Kennel Club||2014||Crufts||Agility Team - Medium||Qualified|
On June 19, 2019, the official Midsomer Murders Facebook page reported that Sykes had died. Midsomer Murders co-producer Ian Strachan began the Facebook tribute by saying, "The best dog on the telly. Sad news that Midsomer's retired sidekick Sykes, loyal companion to John Barnaby and family passed away over the weekend." His foster mom, Alison Pearce made a Facebook comment to the Midsomer Murders' tribute: "Forever in our hearts, cheeky boy. A pleasure to foster you for 16 years." She also clarified that he was actually 18 years of age when he died.
Sykes was remembered as one of the "great pets that we have had the pleasure to cross paths with over the years on various British dramas and mysteries" in the article of February 20, 2021, "Remembering Midsomer Murders' Sykes and other 4-legged Screen Pets on National Love Your Pet Day 2021!"
|2003||Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl|
|2007||Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street||Dog on a leash being walked several times|
|2008||The Other Boleyn Girl||A member King Henry VIII's canine court|
|2010||Clash of the Titans|
|2010||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time|
|2010||Burke and Hare|
|2012||Snow White and the Huntsman|
|2010||"Every Home Needs a Harvey" by Thinkbox||Harvey|
|2010||John Smith Brewery with Peter Kay||Tonto|
|2012||"Harvey and Rabbitt" by Thinkbox||Harvey|
|2014||"Harvey and Harmony" by Thinkbox||Harvey||Last advert|
|2004||In2Minds||Sirius||Zoe's pet dog, Children's TV series|
|2005||Dalziel & Pascoe||Dog on a boat with fisherman|
|2006||Pickles: The Dog Who Won the World Cup||Pickles||TV movie|
|2007||Miss Marple||Donald||Series 3, Episode 3|
|2009||Doc Martin||Lead dog of strays||Series 4, Episode 1|
|2009||Return to Cranford||Napoleon||Miniseries, Episodes 1 and 2|
|2011-2012||Midsomer Murders, Series 14, 8 episodes||Sykes (Sykesie)||Introduced DCI John Barnaby's family, wife Sarah and pet dog, Sykes. Sykes was the first dog actor to be cast as a regular supporting character - he even had his own subplots. Dr. Kate Wilding was also introduced.|
|2012-2013||Midsomer Murders, Series 15, 6 epidoses||Sykes (Sykesie)||DS Ben Jones last series.|
|2014||Midsomer Murders, Series 16, 5 episodes||Sykes (Sykesie)||DS Charlie Nelson is introduced and Betty Barnaby is born|
|2015||Midsomer Murders, Series 17, 4 episodes||Sykes (Sykesie)||Dr. Kate Wilding's last series.|
|2016||Midsomer Murders, Series 18, 6 episodes||Sykes (Sykesie)||Sykes was last seen in a VW van going on a family vacation in the episode, "Harvest of Souls." He was also barking as the VW van drove down the road.
Dr. Kam Karimore introduced, and this was also DS Charlie Nelson's last series.
- Tuesday, Jill Harness •; July 31; AM, 2012 at 5:02. "The Most Famous Mutts Ever". Neatorama. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
- Sloan, Liam (1 February 2011). "How Sykes the Oxfordshire terrier became a TV star". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Peter's 'Kay-nine' capers are best in John Smith's show". John Smith's Brewery. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Young, Bill (20 June 2019). "R.I.P. Sykes — DCI John Barnaby's loyal sidekick on 'Midsomer Murders' passes away at 16". Tellyspotting.kera.org. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
- "Country Life - Picture Library". www.countrylifeimages.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
- "The Times & The Sunday Times". www.thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
- Life, Country (28 January 2012). "Champion dogs: Acting Dog". Country Life. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- Day®, National Purebred Dog (25 August 2016). "Sykes". National Purebred Dog Day®. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
- "'Midsomer Murders' celebrates 20 years of … murder". Tellyspotting. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- Sweeney, Mike (9 September 2010). "Dog has its day in Thinkbox campaign for power of TV advertising". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Day®, National Purebred Dog (15 December 2020). "Purebred Doggie Dates". National Purebred Dog Day®. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Ad of the Year 2010: the countdown". Thinkbox. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Aliens invade TV ad breaks to announce their arrival Thinkbox's new TV ad launches on Boxing Day in collaborative, storytelling ad breaks". thinkbox. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- "Dog's Home: about Thinkbox's 2010 TV Ad". thinkbox. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
- O'Meara, Kim (10 May 2016). "These 5 Dogs Are Taking the Advertising World by Storm". K9 Magazine. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- In2Minds, retrieved 28 July 2020
- Pickles: The Dog Who Won the World Cup, retrieved 31 July 2020
- Burton, Matt (22 September 2016). "DCI Barnaby is getting a new companion in Midsomer Murders as Sykes the dog retires". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- "Sykes (Harvey) at Crufts 2013". March 2013.
- "Crufts 2014 Results |". crufts.fossedata.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- "Midsomer Murders: Real reason DCI John Barnaby's dog Sykes left ITV drama revealed". Totalcelnews.com. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- "POPCORN ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS". POPCORN ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
- Knox, David. "Midsomer Murders farewells TV pooch | TV Tonight". https://tvtonight.com.au/. Retrieved 20 July 2020. External link in
- ""IT'S A DOG'S LIFE ON Midsomer Murders; ON THE SMALL SCREEN Midsomer Murders Is Back and MARION MCMULLEN Finds out Why One of the New Stars Will Do Anything for a Dog Biscuit" - The Journal (Newcastle, England), December 14, 2016".[dead link]
- "Midsomer Murders: What Happened To Barnaby's Dog Sykes?". ScreenRant. 29 February 2020. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- "Remembering Midsomer Murders' Sykes and other 4-legged screen pets on National Love Your Pet Day 2021!". Tellyspotting. 20 February 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2021.