The world of animal stars mourned the passing of the More Th>n dog 'actor' Benson this week. The animal played the part of Lucky the dog in the company's television adverts for four years.

More Th>n marketing director Mike Tildesley praised the mongrel for his acting talent and his ability to bring the role of Lucky the dog alive. "Benson brought real humour to the role of Lucky," he said.

But the show must go on.

More Th>n likened the role to that of James Bond and said it would be launching the search for a new canine star within weeks.

Could this be the start of a new Pop Idol phenomenon? Could Saturday nights become about animal actors trying out their barks in front of three heartless judges?