VIDEO: Watch as South Yorkshire escape artist has Britain's Got Talent judges fearing the worst in daring stunt

Matt Johnson on BGT.
Matt Johnson on BGT.

A South Yorkshire escape artist had Britain's Got Talent judges fearing the worst last night during a daring stunt in which he was trapped under water for more than two minutes.

Escapologist Matt Johnson went a dangerous amount of time without oxygen as he struggled to escape while wearing handcuffs from inside a tank of water that was padlocked shut.

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Before beginning his daring act, he warned the audience on the hit ITV show: "It's gone wrong more times than right.

"I have nightmares that I'm in the tank and can't get out."

He added to the nervous-looking judges: "If I pass out, get me out!"

Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden looked on in horror as the clock ticked past two minutes - well over the one minute 40 seconds mark that Matt said he might be in trouble.

But at the last moment he managed to release a padlock and set himself free from the water box to the cheers of the crowd.

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The hopeful looked emotional as he gasped for breath on escaping from the tank.

The 43-year-old - who the Radio Times said is originally from the Rotherham area but now lives in Canada - was given four yes votes from the judges and is now in with a chance of performing live at the Royal Variety Performance.

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Simon Cowell told him: "For a moment I did think it would go really badly wrong" but added: "That was unbelievable."

Alesha Dixon described the act as "thrilling" while David Walliams said he had "huge respect" for Matt for "basically risking your life for our entertainment."

Amanda Holden said she found the performance "so exciting."

Matt is not the only South Yorkshire person to take part in the show.

The niece of Sheffield woman Kelly Brewster - who was killed in the Manchester terror attack last year - returned to the city to audition for the show.

Hollie Booth, aged 13, performed a dance to a medley of Ariana Grande hits with friends who borrowed wheelchairs in a show of support.

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Hollie survived the attack at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on May 22 but sustained multiple injuries.

The youngster's audition was not part of last night's show but after she filmed her appearance Simon Cowell praised her saying: "God only knows how she dealt with that at her age, the effect it must still have.

"The fact that she got together with a bunch of friends and did something, more than just an act, it was a statement.

"It showed that the cowards can't win and that she overcame it.

"I thought it was respectful, it was one of those moments I will never, ever forget."