HE’S amassed a cult following which includes an A-list pop star, but Egypt the dog has decided to hit paws on his busking career and retire.
The four-legged friend of musician Simon Cartlidge is to enjoy his final performances on Saturday and Christmas Eve as he prepares for a life away from the limelight which saw the Newfoundland make history by becoming the first ever licensed busking dog in the UK.
With Egypt just two months away from his tenth birthday, owner Simon felt it was time for the double-act to hang up their guitar case in a career that has seen the proud pair boast fans in the shape of One Direction heart-throb Louis Tomlinson and Doncaster mayor Peter Davies.
“Egypt is getting old now, he deserves to head into retirement gracefully, he’s had a fantastic career,” said Simon, a psychology teacher at The Hayfield School in Auckley.
“He absolutely loves the attention he has had in all the years he has been helping me busk, but you can see he’s getting tired now and we both quite like having our Saturday mornings off!
“It has been great fun busking, I’ve met some fantastic people along the way and had some really good support. There’s so many highlights from our time of busking together, Egypt even got his own busking licence and he was a bit of a hit with the ladies.
“He’s a massive crowd-pleaser. People used to come and give him chicken and make a real fuss of him which he really loved and I’m sure he’ll miss.”
Simon, 45, began busking while at Leeds University around 25 years ago and has taken his music all across Europe.
He was also the former teacher of 20-year-old boyband member Louis who shot to fame with One Direction on reality TV show The X-Factor.
The musician, of Brampton Road in Sprotbrough, said: “Louis is a big fan of us and Egypt has been following One Direction ever since they formed, he really likes their music.
“We’re so proud of how well Louis is doing. He was always one of those in the class who just had fantastic energy, he was very charismatic. I knew something big would happen for him, he is doing so well.”
Another fan who helped Egypt get his busking dog licence last year was Mr Davies who led the tributes to his favourite town centre musical act.
He said: “I would like to pay tribute to Egypt’s contribution to busking in Doncaster. He was much more entertaining than most, including his owner.
“I wish him well in his retirement, he is a lovely animal and has been a real hit with shoppers. Egypt has played his part in raising the profile of the town centre.”
Simon and Egypt will be performing in Baxter Gate in the town centre, from 8.15am to 11am, on Saturday and again on Christmas Eve.
“We want to do one last goodbye to say thank you for everyone who has supported us throughout the years and bow out in style,” added Simon.
“I imagine Egypt will be spending his retirement away from the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and more likely sleeping and tucking into a juicy bone.”