Matt Lucas with David Walliams in comedy show ‘Little Britain’. Picture: Supplied
Matt Lucas with David Walliams in comedy show ‘Little Britain’. Picture: Supplied

Little Britain pulled over blackface skits

Popular sketch comedy shows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me have been removed from several streaming services overseas after controversy over the use of blackface characters.

The shows, both starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, are no longer available to watch on Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox amid the Black Lives Matter protests.

Locally in Australia, Little Britain is still available on Stan.

BBC and BritBox both confirmed the TV shows have been taken down, telling viewers: "Times have changed."

In Little Britain - which aired from 2003 to 2007 - Walliams wore makeup to play spa guest Desiree DeVere.

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A blackface skit from Little Britain, which has been pulled from streaming services in the UK.
A blackface skit from Little Britain, which has been pulled from streaming services in the UK.

He also dressed up to play passenger liaison officer Moses Beacon and airline boss Omar Baba in Come Fly With Me, which launched in 2010.

A BBC spokesman 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."

BritBox, which streams ITV and BBC shows in the UK, repeated the BBC's sentiment that "times have changed" adding: "Come Fly With Me has not been available on the service for six months."

Matt Lucas starred in Little Britain and Come Fly With Me. Picture: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Matt Lucas starred in Little Britain and Come Fly With Me. Picture: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

 

Lucas in an episode of Little Britain portraying ‘Precious Little’.
Lucas in an episode of Little Britain portraying ‘Precious Little’.

Tens of thousands of protesters have been lining the streets following the death of black American man George Floyd, who was brutally killed at the hands of police.

A video showed white police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on the neck of the dying man - while he pleaded for air with his hands cuffed behind him.

Protests have also broken out across the UK, where Britons have vowed to "kneel for Floyd in solidarity with protesters in America" and have called for justice to be served.

It has also forced those in the entertainment industry to take a hard look at themselves for mistakes made in the past.

Little Britain was one of the UK’s most popular shows.
Little Britain was one of the UK’s most popular shows.

 

This week the comedian who plays TV host Keith Lemon was forced into a tearful apology by talk show host Trisha Goddard.

Leigh Francis, who wore rubber masks to play stars in his show Bo' Selecta, from 2002 to 2004, was confronted by Trisha, one of the black celebs he lampooned along with Craig David and Mel B.

She angrily accused him of hypocrisy when he joined in last week's Blackout Tuesday, a social media campaign for Black Lives Matter.

Leigh, 47, sent a private apology to Trisha and in an emotional Instagram video said: "I didn't realise how offensive it was.

"I just want to say sorry for any upset I caused whether I was Michael Jackson, Craig David, Trisha Goddard."

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission

 

Originally published as Little Britain pulled over blackface skits


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