Britain's Got Talent star Pudsey, the Border Collie cross who won the ITV show - and stole viewers' hearts - as part of derring-do double act Ashleigh and Pudsey in 2012, has died at the age of 11 after a battle with cancer.

Pudsey's devastated owner, Ashleigh Butler, announced the Crufts winner's passing in a heart-rending post on Instagram. 

"I can't honestly believe I am writing these words," said the 22-year-old from Northamptonshire. "My handsome man has gone, and I don't know what to do without him."

"My handsome man has gone, and I don't know what to do without him"

"My heart is broken, and I don't know how I'm going to get through this. It hurts so much, that my handsome, incredible Pudsey Bear will never be by my side, where he belongs, again," she continued.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Butler said that while she and Pudsey only had 11 years together, "they were the best years ever". 

Ashleigh and Pudsey in action on Britain's Got Talent in 2012

She described him as her "one-in-a-billion dog that will never be replaced".

"He was my one-in-a-billion dog that will never be replaced"

"I don't need to write all of his endless accomplishments on here to prove how incredible he was for me," she continued.

"Sleep tight my handsome man, I love you lots xxxx."

After triumphing on Britain's Got Talent with his tricks and dancing, Pudsey headed for the big screen in Pudsey the Dog: The Movie, which was released in July 2014 and saw BGT judge David Walliams voicing the canine hero. 

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Fans have been remembering Pudsey: