Britain's Got Talent speaks out over Malaki concerns
Britain's Got Talent has defended not having an age limit for contestants after nine-year-old Malaki Paul broke down in tears during Saturday's show.
A spokesperson said the show had "stringent procedures" to look after young acts and added that Malaki wanted to audition and was accompanied by his mum at all times.
"The welfare of all contestants is our number one priority," said a statement.
Malaki was comforted by judge Alesha Dixon and managed to finish his song.
Britain's Got Talent doesn't have a lower age limit, unlike The Voice and The X Factor which only allow contestants 16 and older.
The Minister for Children and Families, Sarah Teather, said it could mean too much pressure being put on young people who are often unprepared for the stress of such a big occasion.
"Many people will have felt uncomfortable to see a young child under so much pressure.
"The welfare of the child must always come ahead of the drive for ratings.
It's not the first time they have been concerns over the welfare of talent show contestants.
Susan Boyle - who appeared on Britain's Got Talent in 2009 - spent time in a clinic for exhaustion after she appeared on the show.
Responding to concerns over Malaki, the show's spokesperson said: "Malaki wanted to audition and did so with the full support of his family and he was accompanied by his mother at all times.
"We have stringent procedures in place relating to children who appear in our programmes, the welfare of all contestants is our number one priority."
Malaki's mum, Toni-Ann, put his tears down to nerves and said her son had been keen to go back on the show after first auditioning two years ago.
Before his live performance on Saturday, Malaki had only performed for small crowds in church and school.