BBC has admitted that it censored an episode of the TV series "RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under," to remove a joke about Prince Andrew.

The new television series, filmed in Auckland earlier this year, seeks to find New Zealand and Australia's "next drag superstar." BBC recently started showing episodes of the show on its iPlayer streaming service. However, viewers of the original Australian broadcast noticed that the United Kingdom national broadcaster had cut a scene that poked fun at Prince Andrew, who had to quit royal duties in 2019 due to his alleged involvement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The original scene shows performer Anita Wigl'it dressed in full drag as Queen Elizabeth II, saying: "I wish a dingo would have taken my baby, then I wouldn't have anything to do with Prince Andrew any more." Wigl'it also made a joke about Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the scene that was recorded prior to his death at the age of 99 last month, reports The Guardian.

The scenes were a part of a segment in the show where performers compete to make crude comments. It aired unedited in Australia, but was censored in the UK.

In its defence, BBC has said that it deleted the scene as they thought it could have offended the British viewers. A spokesperson for the broadcaster confirmed the change, noting: "The BBC occasionally makes edits to acquired programmes in accordance with UK audience expectations."

The latest row comes just weeks after BBC was embroiled in a controversy due to its coverage of Prince Philip's death. It had dedicated all its broadcast channels to the royal's death and funeral, inviting a record-breaking number of complaints. A smaller section of people complained that the coverage was not respectable enough towards the British royal family.

Meanwhile, the government is also trying to stamp its authority on the broadcaster, with Conservative MPs accusing it of being unpatriotic and failing to promote the union flag in its publications. On the other hand, it has been accused of curbing "leftwing comedy programmes" after director general Tim Davie indicated he wants an even balance of political views in the comedy on his channels and radio stations.

Prince Andrew
Britain's Prince Andrew (pictured January 2020) Photo: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby