Peter Kay claims comedy is a ‘minefield’ due to political correctness as he defends controversial Little Britain sketches which were removed from show
Peter Kay has defended the controversial Little Britain series created by David Walliams and Matt Lucas, claiming political correctness makes comedy a ‘minefield’ today.
The sketch comedy programme – which ran from 2003 to 2006 on BBC Three and BBC One – was removed from BBC iPlayer in 2020 after it was criticised for using make-up to distinguish people of different ethnicities.
It returned to the service in 2022 but some scenes were removed from the new final cut.
And despite the criticism of the show, Peter said he was delighted to have been given a part in the show’s 2006 special Little Britain Abroad.
According to the Mirror, Peter wrote in his new book T.V.: Big Adventures on the Small Screen: ‘I was to play the younger brother of Dudley Punt [David Walliams]. He’s just married his Thai bride, Ting Tong Macadangdang [Matt Lucas], in order to make an honest man/woman of her.
Speaking out: Peter Kay has defended the controversial Little Britain series created by David Walliams and Matt Lucas, claiming political correctness now makes comedy a ‘minefield’
Cut: The sketch comedy programme – which ran from 2003 to 2006 on BBC Three and BBC One – was removed from BBC iPlayer in 2020 after scenes were deemed offensive (David Walliams pictured as Little Britain character Dudley Punt (left) and Matt Lucas seen as Ting Tong Macadangdang (right))
‘They go on their honeymoon to Belgium and meet my character. I live in a caravan park with my new 18-year-old virgin wife Ivanka [Julia Davis], “who’s set me back two hundred quid”.
‘It was far from being politically correct but that’s what made it funny. It probably wouldn’t get made now.
‘Sadly Matt and David have taken a lot of flak in the past few years for the work they did. That’s a shame.’
Peter added that ‘comedy is such a minefield’, claiming that political correctness is changing all the time.
He insisted that while sometimes good comes from being politically correct, most of the time it is a hinderance.
The star concluded: ‘Everybody’s a critic on social media. Something or somebody gets “slammed on Twitter”, which might only be a handful of people.’
Little Britain returned to streaming services in 2022 after offensive blackface scenes were cut by producers.
Assurances were given at the time that offensive scenes were removed by creators Matt and David, and advisory warnings were used at the start of some episodes.
On air: Despite the criticism of the show, Peter said he was delighted to have been given a part in the show’s 2006 special Little Britain Abroad (L-R: Matt as Ting Tong, Julie Davis as Ivanka, David as Dudley and Peter as Les for Little Britain)
Characters: Benefits-cheat and wheelchair user Andy, was retained for the 2022 edition of Little Britain when it was reintroduced to streaming services
Acting out: Daffyd Thomas, a homosexual Welshman played by Matt, repeatedly claims he is the ‘only gay in the village’ of the fictional mining village of Llandewi, Wales in the show
Little Britain’s most iconic roles, including Vicky Pollard and wheelchair user Andy, were retained, alongside other characters including Matt’s homosexual Welshman Dafydd Thomas and David’s cross-dresser Emily Howard.
As part of the show’s 2022 revival, characters donning black face including Pastor Jesse King, Desiree DeVere and other racial stereotypes such as Thai bride Ting Tong, were left in the cutting room.
In a statement at the time, 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.’
Matt and David have both previously apologised for their use of blackface on the show, which began as a radio programme in 2000 before running as a TV series on the BBC between 2003 and 2007, launching their respective careers.
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