Auditions for the new series of Britain’s Got Talent got off to a red hot start after one act set Simon Cowell’s head on fire.

The talent show veteran was taken by a mysterious magician who told him to sit in a chair on stage.

A hood was then put over the judge’s head as the crowd watched on at the latest round of London auditions.

The magician poured lighter fluid over the hood as Simon’s head was locked in a box which was then opened at the front so the audience could see inside.

Impartial Reporter:

A flame was dropped into the box and Simon’s head went up in flames.

Audience members screamed and Simon was said to look “a bit shell-shocked” as the flames were put out, while the other judges “breathed a sigh of relief as he returned to the panel.”

Responding to the incident, The Mirror reports Simon said: “I could feel liquid being poured on me but I had no idea it was lighter fluid!”

While fellow judge Alesha Dixon said: “It was very scary, you are a very brave man to do that. It made me realise how much we care about you, I was ready to come up there and rescue you.”

Amanda Holden said the incident was “massively entertaining but horrific to watch”.

While new judge Bruno Tonioli said: “It reminded me of a scene from that movie, Saw, seeing Simon’s head in that contraption. I was captivated, I’ve never seen anything like that.”