Police are investigating a complaint of racism against a TV programme featuring Basil Brush.

A traveller reported an episode of the Basil Brush Show which showed a gypsy woman trying to sell the children’s puppet heather and wooden pegs.

The programme was a repeat and broadcast on digital channel CBBC.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire police, which received the complaint, said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint about a TV show featuring Basil Brush from a member of the public in February. The complaint was logged as an incident of a racist nature.”

Joseph Jones, vice-chairman of the Southern England Romany, Gypsy And Irish Traveller Network compared the programme to the Black And White Minstrel Show.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “This sort of thing happens quite regularly and we are fed up with making complaints about stereotypical comments about us in words that we find racist or offensive.

“Racist abuse of black people is quite rightly no longer deemed acceptable, but when a comedian makes a joke on TV about pikeys or gypos, there’s no comeback.”

The programme was a repeat and has also been released on a DVD.

Basil Brush still appears on an updated version of the morning TV show Saturday Swap Shop on BBC2. The character first appeared in 1960s and was based on the upper-class comic Terry-Thomas.

The BBC refused to comment.