You just can't keep the Rats out of the news these days......
GMTV Interview with Gerry Cott
Bobby the westie is hailed by critics as the real star of the capital's Wizard Of Oz show
Toto is played by Bobby, a West Highland terrier who has something of a showbusiness pedigree - he is the protege of former Boomtown Rats guitarist Gerry Cott.
Mr Cott, who founded the group with Bob Geldof but quit before their fifth album was released, has coached Bobby to perform tricks that leave audiences open-mouthed
Mr Cott, 55, who lives with his wife Cathy and sons Harry, 19, and Sonny, 11, near Leatherhead, said: 'He has integrated so well with the cast because he is so calm and relaxed.
Our method of training works on the dog's character and confidence, which means they can be comfortable even on stage in front of hundreds of people.
'It is a bit like, "Look at me, look at me,"' said Mr Cott.
'It was a little unfair of him to muscle in on such a lovely moment in the play.'
He and Harry, who is working as Bobby's chaperone during the show's run, spent a week integrating the dog with the cast and teaching Sian Brooke, who plays Dorothy, a series of silent cues to prompt his performance.
Mr Cott, who was born into an Irish farming family, said he enjoyed working with animals and that his time with the Boomtown Rats had helped him gear his training towards the film, music and television industries.
He said contrary to some rumours, Bobby was not named after Geldof.
The Cotts, who own dress designing company Phoenix Cobham as well as running Dog Training One2One and A-ZAnimals, have helped coach thousands of animals using an American training method Mr Cott refers to as 'dog whispering.'