The BBC has apologised after an episode of the Tweenies featuring a character dressed as Jimmy Savile was broadcast on CBeebies.

The episode, which was filmed in 2001, featured the character Max sporting Savile’s trademark tracksuit and haircut, and using some of his most famous catchphrases.

But even though it was screened very early in the morning, it did not go unnoticed by viewers, who quickly took to Twitter to point out the gaffe.

“Dear BBC, I’m not sure this was a good choice of DJ to impersonate on the Tweenies today,” said one, while another added, “Are BBC trying to self-destruct? Max from Tweenies dressed as Jimmy Savile just now, nearly chokes on my cornflakes.”

A BBC spokesperson later said, “This morning CBeebies broadcast a repeat of an episode of the Tweenies, originally made in 2001, featuring a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile.

“This programme will not be repeated and we are very sorry for any offence caused.”

Savile, who died in 2011, is the subject of police investigations over claims that he sexually abused over 200 people over a period of six decades.

A recent police report described him as a “predatory, prolific sex offender.”

Tweenies, one of CBeebies’ most enduring shows, was cancelled in 2003, long before the allegations over Savile came to light.