A character on Little Britain has been edited out of the programme after it returned to BBC iPlayer, with the broadcaster confirming that ‘edits’ have been made to the show.
Entertainment journalist Scott Bryan tweeted earlier this morning (Wednesday 16 March) to say that Little Britain was back on iPlayer, after it was removed from several streaming services in 2020 amid controversy surrounding some of the sketches.
Now the show is back online, but not without a major change, as Desiree DeVere – a character that saw David Wallliams don a fat suit and blackface – appears to have been edited out.
Bryan tweeted: “In case you were wondering… Desiree DeVere appears to have been edited out of Little Britain. Characters such as Emily Howard, Vicky Pollard, Andy and Anne remain.”
Someone else replied: “They definitely have. No Desiree DeVere in series three, that's for sure.”
Another said that one episode in the third series originally ran for 28 minutes, but now shows a runtime of just 23 minutes on iPlayer.
The BBC has confirmed that the series has been edited to reflect cultural changes since it was made.
Interesting comparison… The VT clock for the original Series 3, Episode 1 shows a runtime over 28 mins. The version on iPlayer shows 23 mins. pic.twitter.com/Rt3ywQMCPB— Tom Glenwright (@Tom_Glenwright) March 16, 2022
A spokesperson 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 twenty years since the show was first made.”
Underneath some of the episodes, a warning also appears that says: “Contains discriminatory language.”
The noughties sketch show has attracted some criticism in recent years over the way it depicted ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, as well as for how it dealt with issues of gender and sexuality.
As a result, it was removed from iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox back in 2020, with the BBC saying in a statement 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."
A spokesperson for BritBox said: "Times have changed since Little Britain first aired, so it is not currently available on BritBox."
A spokesperson for Netflix said the company had 'no comment', but confirmed the show had been removed.
David Walliams and Matt Lucas - the two comedians behind the series - went on to issue an apology, each saying in a statement released 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 and we are very sorry."
Featured Image Credit: BBC
Topics: TV and Film