Geordie duo Ant and Dec have come under fire after sheep were spray painted for their new game show Red or Black?, with claims of animal cruelty from campaigners. The new show, which is the brainchild of X Factor boss Simon Cowell, will aim to make seven millionaires in one week this autumn.
The show is currently being filmed and yesterday saw the pair in Leeds with a flock of brightly coloured red sheep as part of the latest stunt, where contestants predict the outcome of a wacky two-way event.
However a spokesman from People for the Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) complained to the Daily Star: “It’s never a good idea to make sheep, or any animals, props.
“Sheep are sentient, intelligent and complex animals and flockmates recognise each other even if they’ve been separated for years.
“Subjecting these shy sensitive animals to long periods of restraint in order to spray them with potentially noxious chemicals will also be stressful and frightening for them.”
The show kicked off in front of some 12,500 fans in Wembley Arena a few weeks ago and the contestants have been whittled down ever since. The remaining handful of hopefuls will take on the final few challenges live in a London studio in September.
An ITV source told the newspaper: “I can assure viewers we are not in the business of being cruel to animals. We followed all the proper guidelines for using animals on television.
“While the animals may have looked quite dramatic in their new colours, they did not come to any harm.”
The show will air for one week on ITV1 later this year.