Little Britain: Streaming Services Remove Show That Featured Comedians Wearing Blackface

The show is no longer available to stream on the BBC iPlayer, BritBox or Netflix.

The BBC and BritBox have removed Little Britain from their streaming platforms.

The sketch comedy – starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams – had faced renewed criticism in recent weeks over its use of blackface.

It has now been removed from the BBC iPlayer and BritBox, a week after Netflix made the decision to take the same action.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams, pictured after their reunion in 2019
Matt Lucas and David Walliams, pictured after their reunion in 2019
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

A BBC rep 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.”

A spokesperson for BritBox – a joint venture between the BBC and ITV – echoed the BBC’s statement, adding that it had also removed Matt and David’s other series, Come Fly With Me, from its service.

The airport-based sketch show has also been removed from Netflix.

In Little Britain, David used blackface to play Desiree DeVere, while Matt also used blackface to play Pastor Jesse King.

Neither Matt nor David has commented publicly on the decision to take their shows down from streaming services. HuffPost UK has contacted both of their representatives for comment.

Little Britain ran for four series in the UK, also landing an American spin-off, Little Britain USA.

Last year, after a long break, Matt and David reunited for a new Little Britain special centred around Brexit on Radio 4, which led to much speculation about a possible new series.

The pair also revisited many of the show’s characters for a sketch as part of the BBC’s Big Night In broadcast back in April.

The move to take down Little Britain from streaming services comes after fellow comedian Leigh Francis apologised for his own impersonations of Black celebrities including Craig David, Mel B and Trisha Goddard in his show Bo’ Selecta.


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