'Britain's Got Talent' has already generated its fair share of controversy in recent months - but now the talent show is facing further backlash after a recent prank between judges.
Just months after former judge David Walliams was slammed for making inappropriate comments about contestants on the show, his replacement Bruno Tonioli has become embroiled in another row.
The incident happened on stage during auditions in Manchester, when, between acts, Tonioli was blindfolded and given a crossbow to fire at Simon Cowell.
The former 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge was said to be thrown into a panic when Cowell collapsed and lay on the ground, playing dead as a medical team surrounded him.
The Sun obtained footage of the incident, which sees Cowell lying motionless with an arrow apparently lodged in his chest.
Of course, it turned out to be a prank - the second time that Cowell has pulled such a stunt, after doing the same thing to Sofia Vergara on 'America's Got Talent' in 2021.
However, the joke has not gone down well with many, who slammed the show for its poor taste. One person, who herself was the victim of a crossbow accident, called it "absolutely disgraceful."
"I can’t believe it’s even allowed on the show," said Laura Sugden, whose partner was killed in a crossbow attack. "It’s not regulated, but it’s a lethal weapon. 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 spokesperson for the show responded to the backlash by saying "This is a light-hearted skit in the show between the judges – and not meant to cause any offence at all."