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Telecom Pays Tribute To Spot

Spot, the Jack Russell Terrier who starred in Telecom advertising through the 90s, has died.

Spot passed away at his home in Sydney, Australia. He was 13 years old.

Spot was chosen for the way he embodied the "can-do" spirit, and went on to star in 43 Telecom advertisements between 1991 and 1998.

"We want to pay tribute to Spot because he had that special blend of charisma, skill and professionalism that made him a star," says Telecom’s Corporate Communications General Manager Jane Austin.

"He was a charming dog who could do hundreds of tricks from answering the phone to riding a skateboard and conducting an orchestra.

"People took him to their hearts, we received a constant stream of fan mail for him over the years, and he became such a New Zealand icon that he even featured in a ‘Listener’ poll as a preferred Prime Minister," Ms Austin says.

A tribute to Spot will screen on TVOne, TV2 and TV3 on the evening of Sunday 3 September.

Telecom will also make a donation to the SPCA in Spot’s memory.

"Spot was a pro who could learn a new trick in half-an-hour, never had a day sick, never needed a stand-in and never let us down," Jane Austin says.

"By the end of the first day’s filming he understood that when the director said ‘action’ he was on. But if he wasn’t in a scene and heard ‘action’ there would be barks and wails from his kennel as he pleaded to perform, so they had to start giving directions with hand signals," Ms Austin says.

Spot went on to play a key role in Telecom's sponsorship of the Victim Support organisation, with workers using Spot soft toys to help comfort the victims of crime and accidents.

Telecom will be providing Spot toys again this year, for the last time; however the company will continue with its wider sponsorship of the work of Victim Support. "Staff at Telecom have sent their condolences to Spot’s owner and trainer," Ms Austin says.

"We will never seek to replace Spot - he was unique," she says.

Ends

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