A US television channel has pulled the plug on future series of Dog the Bounty Hunter after its star was caught using a racially-offensive word.

Cable broadcaster A&E's decision comes after the National Enquirer posted a conversation between Duane 'Dog' Chapman and his son Tucker on its website.

In the audio clip, the 54-year-old celebrity bounty hunter repeatedly uses a racist term to describe his son's black girlfriend, going as far as to urge him to break up with her.

A&E had initially suspended production on the show's fifth series, but a new statement revealed: "In evaluating the circumstances of the last few days, A&E has decided to take Dog the Bounty Hunter off the network's schedule for the foreseeable future.

"We hope that Mr Chapman continues the healing process that he has begun."

In Dog the Bounty Hunter, Chapman and his posse track down people who have skipped bail and take them to court.

The Hawaii-based show has had many run-ins with the law in the past, especially in Mexico, where bounty hunting is illegal.

Chapman, a devout Christian, has himself been the target of multiple parodies, most notably in cult US cartoon South Park.

03/11/2007 18:06:09