The BBC has been forced to apologise for an anti-Semitic caricature which was published in the official programme for the BBC Proms.

The image is a vulgar caricature of Jewish Hungarian violinist Leopold Auer whose music is to feature during the BBC Proms, in a performance by Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Horrified readers contacted the BBC to complain, forcing the corporation to apologise.

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: “We use a range of caricatures and illustrations in our concert programmes and wanted one of Leopold Auer.

“We’re sorry to anyone who was offended by the image choice – this was never our intention.”

It is unclear however why such a blatantly anti-Semitic image was used in the first place, but hopefully the BBC will learn to educate its staff as this is not the first time this has happened.

Leopold Auer – a violinist, composer and music teacher – was one of the most noted musicians of his time in Europe. Tchaikovsky is dedicating his Violin Concerto to him.