Britain’s Got Talent hit with 334 Ofcom complaints after ‘totally inappropriate’ stunt

Britain’s Got Talent was hit with 334 complaints after Sunday’s episode (16 April), after a stunt that has been branded “insensitive” and “unacceptable”.

The ITV show returned to screens for its 16th series on Saturday (15 April) night, with its second episode airing the following evening.

Ofcom reported that it had received a total of 400 complaints about the two episodes.

Sunday (16 April) night’s show featured a fire stunt performed by professional stuntman Thomas Vu, who covered himself in a fire-retardant gel before being set alight.

While he was engulfed in flames, Vu managed to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

BGT hosts Ant and Dec warned viewers after the stunt: “Do not try this at home, ever.”

During Sunday’s episode, many viewers had complained on Twitter about the fire stunt being broadcast on a family show.

BGT totally ill-considered showing a guy setting himself on fire whilst solving a Rubik’s Cube,” tweeted one viewer. “No thought to the fact that impressionable children watch the show.”

Another said: “Don’t get me wrong, people do crazy stuff and it’s their choice and that’s fine by me but maybe that last act should have been well after the 9pm watershed?? Not sure that kind of playing with fire thing is suitable for young kids who probably stay up to watch BGT.”

A third wrote: “Sorry but showing a man setting himself on fire on a ‘family’ show is not acceptable. Even with the mention ‘do not try this at home’.”

‘BGT’ contestant does Rubik’s cube while on fire (ITV)
‘BGT’ contestant does Rubik’s cube while on fire (ITV)

Others found the scenes “insensitive”.

“From someone that was at the Bradford City fire disaster in ’85 as a 12-year-old and lost a school friend I just find this insensitive to anyone that has been through any trauma caused by fire,” one viewer posted.

“As someone who has lost someone dear due to fire, I had to switch it off,” wrote another. “This shouldn’t have been allowed. Disrespect.”

“The Rubik’s Cube fire stunt on BGT was totally inappropriate. Did you not think about burn victims and how seeing this would affect them?” tweeted a third.

The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.

Saturday’s launch episode was plunged into joyful chaos as new judge Bruno Tonioli kept on making mistakes. Read more here.