Spitting Image have changed their Ed Sheeran puppet at the last minute after concerns that it would offend people with red hair, according to reports.

Producers of the satirical sketch show, which is due to air on streaming service Britbox on Saturday night, feared that the puppet of the singer would be "gratuitously offensive", reports The Sun.

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According to the newspaper, the initial Sheeran puppet had carrot leaves sprouting from its head, but they have now been changed to turnip leaves.

"It was thought to be gratuitously offensive so we ordered them to rejig the puppet. The puppeteers didn't seem too happy about the changes," an ITV source told the newspaper.

"But it's a fine line when you're making comedy. It's one thing poking fun at the rich and powerful but it's another insulting some viewers. It cost quite a lot of money to change. But it's worth the expense."

Other new puppets on the show include Charles and Camilla, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Billie Eilish, Greta Thunberg, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Harry Styles, Brad Pitt, Elton John and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Spitting Image creators have also responded to complaints that some of their new puppets are racist representations. 

Creator Roger Law who created the show with Peter Fluck in 1984, told The Radio Times: "People sit around looking for things to complain about. I do big noses and big ears. It's personal - it’s not a racist thing."

The show was also forced to defend its decision to include a puppet of climate change activist Greta Thunberg in the new series.