Britain’s Got Talent has reportedly got into some hot water with an ‘inappropriate’ prank between auditions – which saw Simon Cowell pretend to be seriously injured.
The talent show is currently filming for its new series and has been welcoming a slew of hopeful acts to the stage to show what they can do.
But one moment during filming is said to have featured judges Bruno Tonioli and Simon, 63, take their own turn as the former appeared the butt of the joke.
The new judge, 67, was given a crossbow to fire at his music mogul boss – but was spooked after Simon pretended to be taken down and hurt by the arrow – which, according to The Sun, caused some offence amongst the live audience.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Syco boss has played this trick either, previously carrying out the exact same joke on America’s Got Talent.
Divided: Britain’s Got Talent has caused controversy with an alleged ‘inappropriate’ prank which saw Bruno Tonioli ‘shoot Simon Cowell with crossbow’
Prank: The new judge, 67, was given a crossbow to fire at his music mogul boss – but was spooked after Simon pretended to be taken down and hurt by the arrow
One TikTok user shared a clip of the moment, where Strictly judge Bruno is said to have been fooled into thinking he shot Simon down dead in front of the live audience – with the prank being dubbed disrespectful by actual victims.
The publication reports that prior to Simon’s prank, an act was on stage performing a routine of shooting balloons.
Deciding to have a laugh between acts, Simon and Bruno are then said to have taken to the stage with a crossbow too – with the latter being blindfolded.
He was then allegedly told to fire it, unknowing that the long-standing judge was ready to pretend he had been shot by him by having a rigged crossbow stuck into his chest by crew.
Simon is said to have lay down on the floor playing dead as a paramedic rushed to help him in front of the live audience – leaving Bruno shellshocked.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Bruno Tonioli, Simon Cowell and Britain’s Got Talent for comment.
While all is said to have then been laughed over after Simon admitted he wasn’t serious, some fans were less than impressed with the prank choice.
The Sun reports that crossbow attack victim Laura Sugden said: ‘I can’t believe it’s even allowed on the show. It’s not regulated, but it’s a lethal weapon.
One trick pony: It wouldn’t be the first time the Syco boss has played this trick either, previously carrying out the exact same joke on America’s Got Talent (pictured on AGT in 2021)
Plan of action: Deciding to have a laugh between acts, Simon and Bruno are then said to have taken to the stage with a crossbow too – with the latter being blindfolded
Medical help: Simon is said to have lay down on the floor playing dead as a paramedic rushed to help him in front of the live audience – leaving Bruno shellshocked
And again: Simon previously carried out the exact same prank on AGT, where he lay on his back and pretended to be unable to move – with a false arrow in his chest (pictured in 2021)
‘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.’
Bruno was assumably an easy target for Simon as the newest judge to join the show this year, replacing David Walliams.
The former Strictly Come Dancing judge reportedly told pals he didn’t know right away that the BGT incident was a stunt — and he thought it was ‘inappropriate’.
A source close to the star added that he stunt felt wrong in light of the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while working with Alec Baldwin on his film set in October 2021.
However, a BGT source told the publication: ‘This is a light-hearted skit in the show between the judges – and not meant to cause any offence at all.’
Simon has actually carried out the exact same prank before on America’s Got Talent back in 2021 – instead choosing Sofia Vergara as his victim that time.
With the exact same turn of events happening that time, which was aired on the show, Sofia was left in shock while convinced she had hurt him.
But revealing that he was joking and pulling the arrow from his chest, Simon was in fits of laughter as a relieved Sofia managed to see the funny side too.
Since joining the BGT panel, Bruno has been at the centre of an abundance of feud rumours with his fellow panel – as judge Alesha Dixon has admitted that he is ‘absolutely exhausting’ to work with.
Speaking on her new fellow judge during an appearance on Capital Breakfast recently, the singer joked that the former Strictly Come Dancing judge ‘does not know how to sit still’.
She said: ‘Yeah he does not know how to sit still. It’s like sitting next to an excitable puppy, I’m not even exaggerating.
‘The first day I was like, what is happening here? It’s absolutely exhausting.’
The talent judge also joked she could manage a kindergarten ‘a lot better than I could manage Bruno’.
While before filming kicked off, Amanda Holden and Alesha reportedly refused to sign contracts for the latest series as they were said to be furious that new judge Bruno had been offered a salary to match their own – an estimated £850,000.
According to The Sun, Amanda and Alesha sent the latest series into chaos with bosses scrambling to secure the TV favourites ahead of filming in London last month.
A source told the publication at the time: ‘Amanda has been on BGT for 17 years, while Alesha is going into her eleventh year. They don’t think it’s fair a newcomer could walk into the show and be handed the same deal as them’.
Worried: That time, Sofia was the victim as she was the one doing the ‘shooting’ and was relieved to learn that he wasn’t injured
New addition: Bruno was assumably an easy target for Simon as the newest judge to join the show this year, replacing David Walliams (Judging panel pictured L-R Bruno, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon)