British producer Nigel Lythgoe has apologised after being accused of homophobia.

The former choreographer, who is currently appearing as a judge on US TV show So You Think You Can Dance? was criticised for comments he made over a gay couple’s performance.

While judging Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel during Thursday night’s contest, Lythgoe said: “I think you will probably alienate a lot of our audience.

“We’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but they’ve never really done it in each other’s arms before.”

He later added on his Twitter page: “The same sex ballroom guys did remind me of Blades of Glory. However, I’m not a fan of Brokeback Ballroom.”

After the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation made a complaint of “blatant homophobia”, he apologised.

“I sincerely regret the fact that I have upset people with the poor word choices and comments I made both during the taping of the So You Think You Can Dance audition and on my personal status update,” he said.

“I am not homophobic and it was extremely upsetting to be classed as such.

“I have been a dancer, and involved in the dance world for nearly 50 years,” he added.

“Professionally and personally I believe the sexual orientation of an auditioner or contestant is irrelevant. All that said, the fact I have unintentionally upset people is distressing to me and it is obvious I have made mistakes that I must learn from. I trust that my humour will be more sensitive and mindful moving forward.”