The BBC has made an apology following complaints from the Japanese embassy over jokes on a recent episode of the quiz show QI.

Panellists on the show, which is hosted by Stephen Fry, made light of the experience of Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived both the Hiroshima atomic bomb in World War II and the Nagasaki one three days later.

Stephen described him on the show, which also featured comedians Alan Davies and Rob Brydon, as the “unluckiest man in the world”.

The corporation has since apologised for any offence caused and said it would be writing to the Japanese embassy in London, after diplomatic staff received complaints from Japanese viewers who had been watching the programme.

“QI never sets out to cause offence with any of the people or subjects it covers, however on this occasion, given the sensitivity of the subject matter for Japanese viewers, we understand why they did not feel it appropriate for inclusion in the programme,” a spokesman told the BBC News website.

More than 200,000 people were killed in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Yamaguchi, who died in 2010 aged 93, is recognised by the Japanese government as being the only person to have survived both.