Catchphrase comedy is the antithesis of good humour, and shows like Little Britain have long been a stain on great comedy with their predictable one-liners and stereotypical characters.
In particular, the show has faced criticism for its portrayal of black and gay people, as well as itss handling of those with disabilities. Essentially, it’s the least politically correct show ever made, and while yes times were once different, the world has changed and this kind of humour is no longer acceptable.
Which is why the show has been pulled from iPlayer and Netflix, although I have no idea who’s still watching it to be fair.
Responding to questions over the decision to pull the series from its streaming service, the BBC said that ‘times had changed’.
A spokesman for the BBC told the Daily Mail: “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.”
Not only that, but Come Fly With Me, their equally unfunny and offensive comedy show, has also been pulled. Set in an airport, the show featured Walliams dressing up to play passenger liaison officer Moses Beacon and airline boss Omar Baba and Lucas portraying a black woman called Precious Little.
BritBox explained: “Times have changed since Little Britain first aired, so it is not currently available on BritBox.
“Come Fly With Me has not been available on the service for six months.”
Discussing criticism of blackface in 2010 when speaking to The Guardian, Lucas defended the duo’s comedy choices.
He said: “I think the thing is that we never aim to bring comedy out of racial characteristics, you know.
“We are playing a character who happens to be a different colour.”
However, in 2017, Matt Lucas penned a letter to his younger self for The Big Issue, where he revealed a number of regrets regarding the series and what he wouldn’t do again.
He wrote: “If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn’t play black characters.
“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. Society has moved on a lot since then, and my own views have evolved.
“There was no bad intent there – the only thing you could accuse us of was greed. We just wanted to show off about what a diverse bunch of people we could play.”
He also called it “lazy” for white actors to play black characters to get laughs.
These echoed sentiments shared by Walliams back in 2019 when he said the show would need updating.
Speaking to Radio Times last year, the 48-year-old said: “It’s a different time now. You’d make any comedy differently. We started working on Little Britain nearly 20 years ago, because it was on radio first.
“It’s hard to say specifically how it would be different. There’s all kinds of tolerances that change. People understand people’s predicaments more now. Maybe it’s, ‘We see this differently, we’ve got more information,’ and it would be a different type of joke.”
Is anyone really going to miss these shows anyway?
Hopefully this’ll be the last of their kind.
Charismatic, witty, charming, engaging - four things Joshua Rogers will never be. Thankfully, he’s a semi-competent editor, who, after graduating university with two mostly pointless degrees, joined The Hook two years ago. He subsequently honed his writing skills over several features and investigative pieces, arguably letting The Hook audience in on way too much of his personal life.