Channel 4’s Countdown has issued an apology after using a gay slur on a recent instalment of the show.

On Tuesday’s show one contestant gave the word p****er as an answer on the show.

Clearly uncomfortable the contestant said: “I’ve got a rude word, that I know is in the dictionary, p****er.”

TV critic and journalist Scott Bryan shared his distaste in the way it was broadcast so casually.

He said: “As someone who was called a “p*****r” by homophobes on a daily basis why on earth is Countdown allowing it to be said cheerfully as an answer on daytime television? Yes, I know it is in the dictionary.

“But having been at the receiving end of that word as abuse for years (along with f*****), then hearing it casually as an answer on a quiz show.”

He added: “The amount of people saying 'it is only a word,' I’m pretty sure it was only a word back in the classrooms back then too. Yet it feels the same.”

Pointless host Richard Osman also gave his opinion expressing his shock at the way it was handled and offered a “very easy fix”.

“The contestant was embarrassed to be saying it, but in that situation the easy solution is to all agree he scored seven points and to retake with a different answer,” he said.

"We’ve done that a couple of times with ‘correct’ answers.”

He added: “A very easy fix, and not an uncommon one.”

Channel 4 released a statement apologising for the incident and said it was down to an “error in judgement”.

It said:  “The airing of the word was an error of judgement. It does not align with our values and we apologise for any offence caused.”