Bosses at ITV are "running around like farts in collander" following controversial comments by Midsomer Murders producer Brian True-May.
In an interview with the Radio Times, True-May explained that ethnic minorities were never portrayed in the popular murder series because they were not part of the typical English village life.
The show, he said, was "the last bastion of Englishness."
He was immediately suspended by his bosses and an ITV spokesman said: "We are absolutely shocked and appalled by these personal comments by Brian True-May which are absolutely not shared by anyone at ITV."
But an ITV insider, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Oh Brian's set the cat amongst the pigeons with this one - it's hilarious.
"You should see the panic at this place - executives are running around like farts in a collander!
"They're all like 'Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God - we need to get some black people in it sharpish. Can we re-shoot? Can we?'
"They're even considering using computer technology to make some of the characters look ethnic - perhaps even DS Jones, although he's Welsh, may be retouched to suddenly become Asian!"