Incredible 1950s archive TV footage shows dog smoking a pipe in Doncaster

This is the incredible and bizarre moment a dog from Doncaster was shown smoking a pipe on television, in rare archive footage from more than sixty years ago.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 3:04 pm
Butch smoking a pipe in Doncaster in 1957. (Photo: BBC)

Butch and his owner Ralph Spencer were quizzed by broadcaster Cliff Michelmore on national TV back in 1957 – with the pet dog shown puffing away on a pipe – and apparently enjoying it.

The incredible clip, from the BBC’s Tonight programme, has been unearthed again after 64 years – and features Mr Spencer telling the camera that his dog also enjoys cigarettes – and that people find his pet’s smoking habit ‘amusing.’

Beginning the report, Michelmore says: “Now for another kind of experiment.

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Ralph Spencer with his dog Butch. (Photo: BBC).

"Have you ever seen a dog smoking? Well, I must confess that I haven’t but the other day we heard of a dog that does smoke. His name is Butch, he’s owned by Mr Ralph Spencer of Doncaster and he and Butch are waiting for us now in our studio in the north.”

The camera then cuts to Mr Spencer, who is seen vigorously patting Butch and dangling the pipe in front of his face, before he clamps it in his jaws and takes it.

The host says: “Butch is only 18 months, don’t you think it’s a bit early for him to start smoking?

Mr Spencer replies: “Well, he started when he was 12 months old.

Butch was shown smoking a pipe on national television. (Photo: BBC).

"How did he start?,” enquires Michelmore, with Mr Spencer responding: “Well, I was sitting watching the television, by the fireside. I had my pipe, he wanted one so I gave him one."

"Does he like cigarettes or prefer the pipe?,” the host asks as cameras show Butch with the pipe dangling from his mouth.

"He’ll take both,” replies Mr Spencer with Michelmore pressing: “Does he enjoy it do you think?”

"Yes, he must do. In a morning, at 8’o clock when I get up out of bed, he starts to whinny for one when I’m smoking a cigarette. I give him one and then he walks away with it.

The presenter replies: “How do you know he’s whinnying for a smoke and not for something to eat?”

Mr Spencer replies “Oh no, he’s too fat for that!”

The host then says: “A lot of people like me don’t like to see pictures of dogs with pipes hanging out of their mouths, glasses on their heads and hats on their heads. Are people offended when they see him with a pipe in his mouth?”

"Oh no,” Mr Spencer replies. “They’re quite amused. I took him down in the back of the car to Whitby one Sunday and everyone was amused with it."

"Do you think he enjoys it as much as you enjoy it?,” adds Michelmore in the clip, first broadcast on 15 November 1957.

"Yes I do,” he replies. “I gave him a pipe one night in a pub in Doncaster, The Winning Post – and five minutes later it was still alight.”

There is still a pub in Balby called The Winning Post, suggesting the footage may have been filmed in that area back in the 1950s.

You can watch the clip HERE