Little Britain returns to BBC as edits made to ‘better reflect’ cultural references

This Morning: David Walliams discusses Little Britain plans

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Little Britain was axed from BBC iPlayer, Britbox and Netflix in light of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, after it came under fire for cultural appropriation and using blackface. In the series, actor David Walliams often wore dark make-up and a large afro wig to portray the character Desiree DeVere. Co-star Matt Lucas also played Pastor Jesse King, who was “from the ghetto”. Now the comedy series is back on streaming platforms after David and Lucas apologised for their use of blackface, and some edits have been made.

A statement from the BBC regarding the return of the show to streaming platforms 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.”

Both Matt and David made a joint apology in 2020 when criticism of the show first arrived.

They posted on Twitter: “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 back in 2000 before becoming a TV series on the BBC in 2003 and ran from 2007.

The comedic show instantly became a hit with audiences and respectively launched both of their careers.

The show mainly consisted of just David and Matt, who would turn into different characters often alongside some special guests.

Some popular characters consisted of Andy, who was “bound” to a wheelchair and Lou, his carer, but when his back was turned, he would stand up and cause mischief.

Matt would appear as Bristol “chav” Vicky Pollard and a Thai bride called “Ting Tong”, which has also been taken out of the show.

Matt has previously aired his frustrations with the show and admitted his regrets after branding the show “cruel”.

In 2017 he told The Big Issue: “If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn’t play black characters.

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

However, despite edits being made and ahead of its return to TV for Comic Relief this Friday, fans have realised one sketch which hasn’t been taken out of the series.

David plays Linda Flint, a university counsellor speaking to a student Kenneth Lao.

In the scene, Linda described the young man and says: “He’s got straight black hair, yellowish skin, slight smell of soy sauce.”

She goes on to use a racial slur which has left viewers frustrated over the lack of attention being made to the scene.

Anita Singh wrote on Twitter: “So Matt Lucas and David Walliams have cut the blackface from Little Britain to ‘reflect the changes in the cultural landscape’ (and get it back on iPlayer) yet this has stayed in.

“The BBC have put a ‘contains discriminatory language’ label at the beginning, but you have to watch the episode to see what the discriminatory language is, just for the cool surprise!”

Lisa McKenzie commented: “Well done, @BBCiPlayer, you’ve put #littlebritain back on being careful to remove the racist #blackface characters but left in the anti-working class and the prejudices against the disabled.

“You either leave it all in and let people make their own minds up or get rid of the whole thing. Cherry-picking through identity politics on who is fair game and who isn’t is a poor structure for comedy.”

Michael Davies also quipped: “#littlebritain is a dreadfully unfunny show. Every sketch is predictable. The fact it exists yet old #hancock shows have been wiped shows how s**t our priorities are.” (sic)

Little Britain is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and Britbox.

Source: Read Full Article