Published Thursday, 13 March 2014
The episode of Holby City, which aired on Tuesday night, featured an actress playing an obsessed fan of the boyband. She told a nurse character in one scene that she wanted to "cut off" Edwards' head so she could marry her real-life fiance Zayn Malik.
The footage sparked anger among viewers, and the BBC has received more than 30 official complaints.
Edwards' mother Debbie has also stated her shock, writing on Twitter: "Anyone watching Holby city??? Really upset.com."
A spokesperson for the BBC has now explained producers' decision to include the line, saying: "The line referencing Perrie Edwards was made to emphasise the character's devotion to One Direction.
"It was absolutely not intended to be taken seriously and clearly in the context is not intended to cause offence."