Little Britain Returns To BBC iPlayer After Two-Year Absence Following 'Edits' To Content

Changes have apparently been made to the original show to "better reflect the changes in the cultural landscape over the last 20 years".
Matt Lucas and David Walliams
Matt Lucas and David Walliams
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Little Britain has returned to BBC iPlayer after a two-year absence, following the removal of certain scenes from the show.

In 2020, several streaming services – including iPlayer and Netflix – made the decision to pull Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ sketch show, after it faced renewed criticism due to the use of blackface.

A BBC rep said at the time: “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, two years later, it was noted that old episodes of Little Britain were once again available to stream.

In a statement issued to HuffPost UK, a BBC rep explained that comedians Matt and David had made “edits” to their original show “that better reflect the changes in the cultural landscape over the last twenty years since the show was first made”.

It’s been observed that this includes the removal of the character Desiree DeVere, portrayed at the time by David Walliams in blackface, as well as the addition of a warning message about “discriminatory language”.

Following Little Britain’s removal from the BBC iPlayer and Netflix in 2020, the show’s central duo shared a joint statement apologising for the blackface used in the show and their later sketch series Come Fly With Me.

“[We] have both spoken publicly in recent years of our regret that we played characters of other races,” they said. “Once again we want to make it clear that it was wrong and we are very sorry.”

Later this week, Matt and David are set to revive another of their old shows, Rock Profile, for a new sketch as part of this year’s Comic Relief broadcast.


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