PLUNGING into a pool in flames, it was a stunt that left even Simon Cowell open-mouthed.
Southampton Olympian Pete Waterfield was among a group of brave divers who turned daredevils in the hope of being chosen for the final stages of Britain’s Got Talent.
Auditions for the hit ITV show temporarily moved outside as the team attempted to impress judges Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
The La Quebrada High Diving Productions sequence culminated in a dramatic stunt whereby one of the team climbed a high tower, set himself on fire and leapt into a water tank.
The team of seven, including Pete and former Southampton Olympic diver Blake Aldridge, took part in the audition in Cardiff.
Pete, 31, who partnered Tom Daley to fourth in the 10m syncho platform and competed individually at the Olympics last summer, is hoping the new venture may even help him continue competing at the highest level after his funding was cut by UK Sport.
The father-of-two had been ready to walk away from his 20-year career after learning that British Swimming would no longer support him financially from April, as reported by the Daily Echo on Saturday.
Now he believes success on the TV talent show might lead to money-spinning appearances that could help him carry on competitive diving.
The three-minute routine performed for the Britain’s Got Talent judges consisted of divers going off a range of heights – from three to 25 metres. Pete performed off an eight-metre platform.
“It was very nerve-racking because it was my first time on the ladder getting up on the platform,” said Pete, who is based in Millbrook and trains with the Southampton Diving Academy at The Quays.
“It was such a buzz doing it. It was really good fun.”
He added that there was not a lot of room for error because of the size of the tank.
“That’s what makes the show – it’s dangerous and Simon Cowell loves a bit of danger,” said Pete.
“Simon Cowell watched it with an open mouth. He was really wowed by it.”
Pete has promised that if they make it through to further rounds there will be even more daring stunts.
“I didn’t do the fire dive, I haven’t got that far with it yet, but maybe they’ll teach me one day how to do that,” he said.