Britain's Got Talent has been slammed after judges Simon Cowell and Bruno Tonioli took part in a crossbow prank on stage in Manchester.
At a recent round of auditions in Salford, judge Bruno, 67, was blindfolded as he 'shot' a crossbow at fellow judge Simon, 63, according to reports.
Ex-Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno was tricked into thinking he'd injured Simon with the weapon in front of a live audience.
In a video obtained by The Sun, Simon can be seen lying on the stage with an arrow sticking out of his chest as he pranked his co-star. The audience can be heard screaming in the clip, which comes with a “sensitive content” warning.
The prank has been criticised by Laura Sudgen, who was wounded in a crossbow attack.
She and partner Shane Gilmer were shot with a crossbow by neighbour Anthony Lawrence at their home in 2018. Shane was tragically killed while Laura was shot in the head.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful," Laura told The Sun. “I can’t believe it’s even allowed on the show. It’s not regulated, but it’s a lethal weapon."
Laura added: “I’ve been in a situation where I’ve lost somebody. For Britain’s Got Talent to showcase that as a prank I just find really disrespectful."
A source told OK!: "This is a light-hearted skit in the show between the judges – and not meant to cause any offense at all."
Bruno, who replaced David Walliams on the BGT panel, has reportedly branded the prank "inappropriate" after being led to believe he had injured Simon.
A source told The Sun: "The explosive prank was really effective and Bruno completely fell for it, believing for a few seconds he had he had shot Simon. He was genuinely panicked and for a moment really thought something had gone badly wrong.
“Despite it making amazing TV, Bruno felt it was too over the top and inappropriate. He said it felt wrong in light of the death of Halyna Hutchins on the Alec Baldwin film set in 2021.”
Alec is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after firing a prop gun on the set of film Rust in 2021 which resulted in cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' death.
It's not the first time Simon has acted out a prank involving a crossbow, with the BGT judge being part of a similar set up on America's Got Talent previously.
He filmed a similar crossbow prank on AGT in 2021 with actress Sofia Vergara, which also saw him shot in the chest and lying on stage.
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