Britain’s Got Talent 2023: Ofcom receives over 300 complaints after man sets himself on fire during audition

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Hundreds of viewers complained to Ofcom after a fire stunt on the premiere of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The talent show series, judged by Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli returned last week on Saturday, April 15. During the debut episode of the new series, professional stuntman Thomas Vu covered himself in a fire-retardant gel before being set on fire..

While engulfed in flames, Thomas then started solving a Rubix Cube, much to the amazement of the Britain’s Got Talent judges. On Wednesday (April 19) Ofcom revealed it had received 334 complaints after the episode aired.

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After the stunt, hosts Ant and Dec warned viewers “Do not try this at home, ever.” After his death-defying performance, Thomas Vu received a unanimous yes from all four judges.

The opening episode also saw the former Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli give a children’s dance group from Uganda the series’ first golden buzzer, which sends the act straight through to the competition’s live semi-final. According to ITV, the first episode of the 16th series had an average of 5.5 million viewers based on overnight figures

Britain’s Got Talent first debuted in 2009 and has aired on ITV since. The winner of the annual talent contest is awarded £250,000 and a spot on the Royal Variety show to perform in front of members of the royal family.

Britain’s Got Talent golden buzzer. Picture: ITVBritain’s Got Talent golden buzzer. Picture: ITV
Britain’s Got Talent golden buzzer. Picture: ITV | ITV

What is Ofcom?

Ofcom is the government-approved regulatory and competition authority in charge of regulating TV,  telecommunications and postal industries in the UK. Ofcom has wide-ranging powers across the television, radio, telecoms and postal sectors.

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