Little Britain is available to watch via BBC iPlayer again following a number of edits to “better reflect the cultural landscape” of today.
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Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ sketch show was removed from the streaming service in 2020 after facing criticism for a number of its recurring characters, particularly the use of blackface in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. Netflix and BritBox also removed the programme from streaming.
However, following a number of edits to the sketch show – including the removal of Black characters depicted by Lucas and Williams such as Desiree DeVere, “portly Thai bride” Ting Tong, and Pastor Jesse King – the series has returned to the BBC’s streaming service.
Other Little Britain characters such as Vicky Pollard, Emily Howard and Lou and Andy remain in the edited episodes.
A statement from the BBC said: “Little Britain has been made available to fans on BBC iPlayer following edits made to the series by Matt and David that better reflect the changes in the cultural landscape over the last 20 years since the show was first made.”
In a joint statement on Twitter in June 2020, the pair said: “David and I have both spoken publicly in recent years of our regret that we played characters of other races. Once again we want to make it clear that it was wrong; we are very sorry.”
Little Britain began as a radio programme in 2000. Walliams and Lucas worked on the multi-BAFTA winning TV version together between 2003 and 2007, while their second sketch show Come Fly With Me ran for a single season between 2010 and 2011.
Last year (May 21, 2021) Lucas and Walliams stated on The Jonathan Ross Show that were working on a new series together.
“We just have an idea of something we want to do,” he told Ross. “The idea – where we play lots of different characters, which is, you know, something people expect from us.”
He added: “We’re just going to start writing it, and if we feel it’s good and we want to share it with people, we’ll ask if anyone wants to put it on TV.”