BBC radio hit the wrong note by playing a song in which a man vows to shoot dead his girlfriend - after a report on Oscar Pistorius gunning down lover Reeva Steenkamp.

BBC 6 Music made the blunder when Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix came on, straight after a news item on the fatal shooting of Steenkamp by Olympic idol Pistorius.

The druggy rock classic features of raft of disturbing lyrics, in which the subject reveals his plan to execute a woman and then gleefully confesses to the grisly crime.

Lines include "where you going with that gun in your hand? I'm going out to shoot my old lady"

Listeners on the popular breakfast show hosted by DJ Shaun Keaveny heard Hendrix sing:

"I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady, [...] You shot her down now. Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down. You shot her down in the ground yeah! Yeah!

"Yes, I did, I shot her You know I caught her messin' round messin' round town. Huh, yes I did I shot her. You know I caught my old lady messin' 'round town."

Keaveny, who is popular with a dedicated band of listeners for his deadpan northern wit and string of lame gags, said sorry for the crass gaffe when the song finished.

But BBC bosses scrambled to minimise the fallout from the incident, issuing a second apology soon after it was broadcast.

"In light of the nature of the news story, we apologise for any offence caused by the proximity of the song Hey Joe to the bulletin," a Corporation spokesman said.

"An on-air apology was made immediately the mistake was realised."

Twitter users uaws the social network to react to the BBC gaffe. Matt Woods tweeted: "Chilling lyrics, in light of recent news from SA (South Africa).

Olympic runner Pistorius broke down in court this morning as his version of events around Steenkamp's violent death.

Judge Desmond Nair ordered his client's lawyer to temporarily stop reading his client's statement because Pistorius appeared so distressed.

Pistorius, dubbed Bladerunner for his prosthetic legs, spoke of his pain at gunning down pretty Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. She was blasted three times through a bathroom door. Pistorius claimed he was terrified because he thought she was an intruder.