BBC1 presenter Darren McMullen is bracing himself to step in for the forfeit on this weekend’s finale of The Magicians because show chiefs are worried the losing celebrity might not have the nerve.
The host of the Saturday night programme – watched by around six million viewers – is on stand-by in case the chosen star is too scared by what is being billed as the show’s scariest challenge.
So far celebrities have had to face nailbiting live stunts such as walking on broken glass or having apples shot from their heads with a bow and arrow.
Producers are keeping the details of the final forfeit secret but say it is the “most terrifying yet”.
The final programme of the series will see George Sampson, Ed Byrne and Joe Swash pair up with the show’s resident illusionists. The team which gets the least public support has to face the forfeit.
A spokeswoman for the show said: “It is genuinely the scariest thing we have ever done in the history of the show. Darren has always been warned that if a celebrity feels unable to complete the forfeit that he has to step forward to do it - and we’ve asked him to prepare that this Saturday may be the week that happens.
“We’ve left this forfeit to the last one in the series in case we put off some of the other celebrities. We can’t give away precisely what the forfeit is but needless to say it involves a big element of genuine fear – it will terrify the celebrity magicians.”
McMullen said: “During this series of The Magicians I’ve been very lucky to avoid the forfeits as all our celebrities have been incredibly brave and faced them. However we have Joe Swash on this week’s show so it might be my time to step up to the plate if he or the other contestants chicken out.”
During the series viewers have seen David Hasselhoff climbing a ladder of samurai swords and Keith Duffy popping molten metal into his mouth.