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Little Britain Returns To BBC iPlayer But With Some Changes

Kimberley Bond

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Little Britain Returns To BBC iPlayer But With Some Changes

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Little Britain has returned to BBC iPlayer after nearly a two year absence.

The popular sketch show, which aired between 2003 and 2007, was pulled from iPlayer, as well as BritBox and Netflix, after it faced renewed criticism for its use of blackface.

Little Britain also came under fire for its disparaging treatment of women and ethnic minorities.

The series aired in the early 2000s (Credit: BBC)
The series aired in the early 2000s (Credit: BBC)

In a statement released at the time, the BBC said: “There’s a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer which we regularly review.

"Times have changed since Little Britain first aired, so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer."

However, the series – which made household names of David Walliams and Matt Lucas – has since returned to BBC iPlayer with some alterations.

The re-edited version of the show has since cut Walliams’ character Desiree Devere, a health retreat guest that was considered to be Walliams in blackface.

Little Britain was criticised for blackface (Credit: BBC)
Little Britain was criticised for blackface (Credit: BBC)

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, a spokesperson explained: “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.”

Now, a number of the episodes available to stream on BBC iPlayer features a guidance warning, which reads: “Contains discriminatory language.”

In 2017, Lucas said he would “do things differently” if he was making Little Britain again.

“I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites,” he said. “I wouldn’t play Black characters.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams are reuniting for a comedy sketch for Red Nose Day (Credit: BBC)
Matt Lucas and David Walliams are reuniting for a comedy sketch for Red Nose Day (Credit: BBC)

“Basically, I wouldn’t make that show now. It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I’d do now.”

Lucas and Walliams are set to reunite for a new sketch as part of this year's Red Nose Day, which will be on Friday 18th March.

Little Britain is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Topics: TV And Film, BBC, Celebrity

Kimberley Bond
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