Sightseers’ Smurf wins the Diamond Jubilee Palm Dog.

Following critical acclaim since its world premiere on Wednesday, Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers has its first award.

Yes, Smurf – who plays Poppy/Banjo in the black comedy – has won the coveted Palm Dog today at a ceremony at the UK Film Centre, a prize voted on by a panel of British critics and film industry experts including Toby Rose, Peter Bradshaw, Kate Muir, Charles Gant, Kaleem Aftab and Robbie Collin, and presented by Palm Dog organiser Toby Rose.

For anyone who’s witnessed Sightseers, it should come as little surprise as Smurf puts in a fully committed performance, including one scene involving knitting needles that has to be seen to be believed, and has to get into the troubled psyche of a dog who is given multiple personalities from the central protagonists Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe). Not to mention abandonment issues, following Tina’s dognapping of Banjo from its original owners.

Sadly on my visit to Sightseers’ set back in October, I didn’t get to meet Smurf but I knew big things awaited. After all, simply from a couple of stills I saw, I noted that Smurf “could give Uggie a run for his money”.

Smurf faced competition from the dogs in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt.