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Controversy as Little Britain is confirmed to be returning to terrestrial TV for Christmas

Controversy as Little Britain is confirmed to be returning to terrestrial TV for Christmas

The hit BBC comedy will return to terrestrial TV for Christmas

Little Britain is officially returning to terrestrial TV for Christmas.

The BBC comedy, which starred Matt Lucas and David Walliams from 2003 to 2006, used sketches to poke fun at how British people would go about their daily lives.

However, the show faced significant backlash after returning to BBC iPlayer in 2020.

Concerns were raised over the use of blackface during a Little Britain sketch.

It was subsequently taken down by iPlayer and Netflix.

"If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn’t play black characters," Lucas admitted back in 2017.

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

Walliams and Lucas in Little Britain.

In 2022, iPlayer reinstated the series as Netflix maintained its ban.

Now, it seems that Freeview channel That’s TV will be bringing it back to terrestrial television.

A statement read: "That’s TV has announced that it will broadcast all three seasons of Little Britain as part of its festive Christmas and New Year line-up."

This comes after Peter Kay came to the defence of of Matt Lucas and David Walliams, saying that 'everybody’s a critic on social media'.

The comedian opened up about the series in his new book TV: Big Adventures on the Small Screen, in which he called criticism of the show a 'shame'.

Little Britain was taken on iPlayer last year.

Speaking about his cameo in the UK TV series, Kay explained: "I started to get invites from my peers to play characters in their shows, which was really lovely. Matt Lucas and David Walliams asked me if I’d like to appear in a Little Britain special they were filming called Little Britain Abroad.

"I was to play the younger brother of Dudley Punt (David Walliams). He’s just married his Thai bride, Ting Tong Macadangdang (Matt Lucas), in order to make an honest man/ woman of her.

"They go on their honeymoon to Belgium, where they meet up with my character.

"I live in a caravan park with my new 18-year-old virgin wife Ivanka (Julia Davis), ‘who’s set me back two hundred quid’.

"It was all very far from being politically correct but that’s what made it funny. It probably wouldn’t get made now.

"Sadly, Matt and David have taken a lot of flak in the past few years for the work they did. I think that’s a shame."

Regarding Little Britain being back on the box, That’s TV head of programming, Kris Vaiksalu, told LADbible: “Tis the season to be jolly and to spread warmth and laughter.

"This year we are especially excited to be showcasing the comedy genius of Matt Lucas and David Walliams to mark 20 years since the launch of Little Britain.

"When the show hit the screens 20 years ago, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon and made Lucas and Walliams into comedy Gods.

He added: "On this anniversary, it’s extra special for us to be able to show Little Britain every night as part of our Christmas week comedy festival. It’s a special time of year and we’re looking to spread the cheer with more Christmas comedy specials than we’ve ever shown before.”

Ofcom recently published focus group research, which showed some respondents were offended by a sketch shown from Little Britain.

Of this, Vaiksalu said: “There is a great tradition of British TV comedy being used to expose and ridicule prejudice.

"I am absolutely clear that Little Britain sets out to lampoon all forms of prejudice, the clue being in the name.

"We carefully consider the expectations of our audience and the episodes of Little Britain we are showing have been edited in collaboration with Matt and David. We’ve studied Ofcom’s research and are confident that all of our shows this Christmas comply with all Ofcom rules.”

The first episode is set to air this evening (16 December) at 9:05pm on That’s TV.

That’s TV is available on Freeview channel 56, Sky channel 171, Freesat channel 178 and Virgin Media channel 150. A local version of That’s TV is also available in 20 locations on Freeview channel 7/8.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Christmas, TV and Film, UK News, David Walliams