Britain’s Got Talent has been slammed by watchdogs for featuring a horror magician called Dr Gore.
The ‘Dr’ began his act by appearing to cut off his hand, then pretended to remove an organ from an assistant with a rotary saw.
Hosts of the ITV show, Ant and Dec, introduced him with the words: “He has the power to make audiences feel sick in seconds.”
Judge Simon Cowell likened the performance to ‘a weird porno movie’.
Parents said their children had suffered nightmares after watching the Saturday night show on June 16, and Ofcom received 21 complaints.
Dr Gore reached the semi-final, which also featured six-year-old Connie Fisher and eventual winner Paul Potts.
ITV said his act had been carefully reviewed to ensure it did not upset young or impressionable viewers, and described it as ‘pantomime rather than horror’.
But Ofcom said the programme had breached guidelines on protecting children from unsuitable material.
The watchdog ruled: “Both Dr Gore and his assistant were dressed in medical clothing and appeared to use a real rotary saw to ‘extract’ organs and flesh from their ‘victim’.
“Therefore, Dr Gore’s act, regardless of efforts to edit it and to inject an element of humour, went beyond audience expectations for peak family viewing at the weekend, particularly given that audience figures suggest that more than one million children were watching.”