They've seldom put a foot wrong in their 23 year-long career as a comic duo, but I'm A Celeb presenters Ant and Dec have come under fire for their recent comments regarding Australian people.

The Geordie double act – who present the ITV reality show live every day from the jungle in Queensland, Australia – have sparked a diplomatic row after dubbing Australians "uncouth layabouts who rarely wash."

On Saturday night's (19 November) episode, Dec introduced the segment by stating: "As you know this job is about ruling over a group of uncouth layabouts who rarely wash and can barely light a fire".

Ant then said: "Basically it's like being the Australian Prime Minister."

What seemed as a light-hearted joke has been taken personally by Australians, with politicians including Senator James McGrath slamming the television hosts.

McGrath, who represents the state of Queensland and is Assistant to the Prime Minister, has said: "Maybe they're looking in the mirror. That's a bit rich coming from a pair of TV presenters. I wonder what was the last book they read that didn't need crayons."

McGrath has since written a comment piece about the duo for the Daily Star and appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the "pair of sooks in singlets."

Another politician appeared to have not seen the funny side of the joke, as Queensland MP George Christensen added: "It's a bit daft to be in our country and be making remarks like that. I think most British folk would understand, we do love a drink, that's for sure. But we do wash as well."

Roland Rocciochiolli, a veteran broadaster, was also unimpressed. He said: "We invented the shower! I think it is disrespectful and ill-bred. I would never go to England and make a comment like that. Not if you're in a position that they occupy."

Members of the viewing public also commented on the pair's remarks. Even Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan chimed in on the social media debate, joking: "Should @antanddec be deported from Australia for their anti-Aussie joke, we're available. @susannareid100 #imaceleb", with a picture of him and co-host Susanna Reid.

Another viewer added: "Thought ant and Dec where talking about themselves not the aussies," as a third put: "Oh come off it it was only a joke by ant and Dec I don't think it went too far at all #ImACeleb".

Ant and Dec have laughed off the slur, tweeting a picture of themselves laughing together with the words: "On the blower to @Andyshowbiz on @BBC3CR breakfast show. Thanks for the chat 'as discussed' Andy! D #ImACeleb".

I'm A Celeb continues tonight (21 November) at 9pm on ITV.