SIX years ago, terrier Sykes was a homeless stray, found wandering round an Essex park.

Now he is TV’s most famous mutt, with 11,600 Facebook friends, marriage proposals from fans, and celebrity invitations to open pet shops across the country.

To the world at large, he is better known as Harvey, the perfect pet who is able to mow the lawn, do the ironing and cook dinner in Thinkbox’s award-winning ‘Every Home Needs a Harvey’ advert – now watched more than a million times on YouTube.

He has been trained by stunt dog specialist Gill Raddings in Clifton, near Deddington, since being found as a puppy in 2004.

He has starred in a John Smiths advert with Peter Kay, appeared in half a dozen films and portrayed Pickles, the dog that found the World Cup, in a TV drama.

But Miss Raddings, who has been training stunt dogs for 25 years, still cannot believe just how big ‘Harvey’ has now become.

She said: “I do commercials all the time, and the fact he has got all this attention I find incredible.

“I would never have thought of putting a dog on Facebook, and to get over 10,000 friends is mind- boggling.

“He doesn’t really read the newspapers, he doesn’t really do the ironing and he doesn’t really do the washing up.

“I’m sure people do not really think he does, but people still say to me: ‘I wish I had a dog that could do all that’.”

As for Sykes, apart from a jewel-studded collar, he seems fairly relaxed about his new-found fame, happily posing for the Oxford Mail for pieces of frankfurter.

And he is not the only star in Miss Raddings house.

Her dogs have appeared in everything from Gladiator to Downton Abbey, alongside Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd and Martin Clunes in Doc Martin.

They have jumped on to moving trains, crashed through windows and savaged Roman soldiers.

Fourteen-year-old Belgian Shepherd Kyte is better known as EastEnders’ Wellard, and despite dying in the soap in August 2008, is happily living out her retirement in Deddington.

Miss Raddings said: “All of them are either rescue dogs who I train and put out to foster homes, or they belong to someone locally and I train them for free.

“We can never have too many dogs, because you never know what you are going to be asked for.”

And it is not just dozens of Oxfordshire dogs who are on Miss Raddings’ books. If you see chickens and geese running through a market in the movies, the chances are she trained them.

“People do not realise that someone has to provide them,” she said.