Simon Cowell Set on Fire by Contestant During Audition of Britain's Got Talent, as Audience Watch in Shock

Cowell casually played it down after the lucky escape, saying that he "had no idea" he was being doused with lighter fluid.

Britain's Got Talent descended into panic and chaos after judge Simon Cowell set on fire by a masked contestant in a terrifying stunt during the London auditions. The 63-year-old TV judge was brought on stage and given a hood by a magician who was disguised throughout the performance.

He was then he was instructed to sit in a chair with a hood over his head as a London audience looked on. Members of the audience, as well as fellow judges Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden, and new judge Bruno Tonioni, watched in fear as lighter fluid was subsequently spilled all over the hood.

Narrow Escape

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell Twitter

According to the Mirror, the contestant, a magician, locked Simon's head in a box and then opened at the front so that the audience could look inside. The magician then dropped a flame into a box and Simon's head went up in flames.

"The audience screamed, judges were out of their seats screaming, everyone was totally stunned. The flames were put out and Simon got up looking a bit shell-shocked while the rest of the judges breathed a sigh of relief as he returned to the panel," one crew member said.

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell Twitter

Cowell casually played it down after the lucky escape, saying that he "had no idea" he was being doused with lighter fluid.

"I could feel liquid being poured on me but I had no idea it was lighter fluid!" he gasped.

"Simon, he set your entire head on fire! "It was very scary, you are a very brave man to do that. It made me realize how much we care about you, I was ready to come up there and rescue you," Dixon allegedly informed him.

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell Twitter

While Dixon praised Cowell's bravery, Bruno Tonioli compared it to a scene from the horror franchise 'Saw'.

Controversy Surrounds Show

Britain's Got Talent hasn't had the best of the seasons so far. The latest incident comes after Tonioli reportedly caused havoc during Britain's Got Talent auditions by pressing the Golden Buzzer twice before confessing he had never seen the show.

Bruno Tonioli
Bruno Tonioli Twitter

The former Strictly judge, 67, has replaced comedian David Walliams, 51, following his resignation from the ITV talent competition panel after making "disrespectful" remarks about contestants from past series.

Professional dancer Tonioli did not realize that the Golden Buzzer could only be used once as it automatically sends auditionees through to the live finals, and reacted when the audience began cheering for an impressive performance.

The dilemma of whether to allow the hopeful through or cancel Tonioli's second buzz reportedly caused the producers to panic.

Alesha Dixon
Alesha Dixon Twitter

"It was madness. The buzzer worked but there was no glitter in the cannon above the stage as it had already been used up," a source told the Sun.

A producer raced over to try to tell Bruno he couldn't do that. "Then there were discussions with the top execs and Simon [Cowell], who had his head in his hands."

According to the source, Tonioli later acknowledged that he had never actually watched Britain's Got Talent since he didn't want to be affected by the judging methods used in earlier seasons.