A TV prank on Ray Winstone nearly turned into a disaster when the KING ARTHUR star exploded in anger - and threatened a waiter with a butter knife.

The British actor was enjoying a meal at Manchester, England's Living Room when a bogus waiter - played by ED SAYER - began baiting him, as part of a sketch for UK network ITV's show CELEBRITY STITCH-UP.

However, failing to realise the altercation was manufactured for the sake of television entertainment, Winstone lost his temper and appeared to be on the brink of head-butting his tormentor - forcing TV bosses to jump out and reveal it was all for a laugh.

Producer SPENCER AUSTIN says, "It came to a head when Ed said a waitress had accused Ray of leering at her. Ray went ballistic. He was saying to his mates, 'Is this guy having a pop at me or what? I'll kill him.'

"He got more irate and stood up to confront this guy and looked like he was going to head-butt him. He was waving his butter knife around. He was pretty terrifying. That's when we decided it was time to reveal it was a set-up."

31/03/2005 14:09