The creators of a biblical epic on US TV have rejected claims that their version of Satan bears a strong resemblance to President Barack Obama.

The latest episode of the History Channel's 10-hour series The Bible, which finishes on Easter Sunday, sparked comments by viewers that the actor who played Satan in the show looks uncannily like the US president.

Republican talk-show host Glenn Beck tweeted an image of the character with the comment: "Anyone else think the devil in The Bible on the History Channel looks exactly like That Guy [Obama]?"

As more comments were made, the producers of the show dismissed them as "utter nonsense".

Executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey said: "The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics - including Satanic characters - long before Barack Obama was elected as our president.

"Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love for our president, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try to discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible."

The channel added: "The History Channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors.

"It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. The Bible is meant to enlighten people in its rich stories and deep history."

There was a similar incident in 2012 when HBO was forced to apologise after a replica head of former US president George Bush was seen impaled on a spike in an episode of Game of Thrones.