Rehearsals for next week’s Britain’s Got Talent live semi-finals were forced to take an unexpected break after an unexploded world War 2 bomb was discovered nearby.
Fountain Studios, where the ITV show is filmed, were evacuated while crews were apparently setting up for the rehearsals, which acts such as Lorraine Bowen and Calum Scott understood to have been preparing.
The 50kg German explosive, said to be from Hitler’s Luftwaffe, was discovered by builders on a construction site in Empire War, near to Wembley Stadium, on Thursday afternoon.
All properties within a 400-metre exclusion zone were evacuated by police, with experts now working to make the device safe.
An Army spokesman said: “This bomb is a live munition in a potentially dangerous condition so it’s important that people listen to the police and evacuate their homes if asked.
“We will do all we can to minimise the disruption but ask the public to bear with us – any bomb, even under a controlled explosion could cause significant damage to property and there is a genuine risk to life.”
A “rest centre” was set up at nearby Chalkhill Community Centre in Chalkhill Road.
However, as well as being more than a little bit scary, it’s reported that this could disrupt next week’s live BGT shows, as bombs that size can apparently take up to a week to remove.
According to The Sun, bosses are now frantically searching for a new studio before next week, with a source explaining: “We are now in an absolute panic about Monday. If the area does take a week to secure, then we won’t be able to hold the semis at Fountain.
“We’ve been holding BGT and X Factor live shows there for years and there aren’t many other venues in London suitable at such ridiculously short notice.”
It’s said that none of the four judges were at the studios at the time, but that Simon Cowell WAS due to check in on the rehearsals.
The source added: “That’s a major blow. Simon was going to run his eye over the acts and they would hone their performances. There’s no way they will be as well prepared now.”
A spokesman for the ITV show also said: “We will have to wait to hear from the police when we will be allowed back in.”
Roads were also closed around the area, causing traffic chaos.
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