Little Britain returns to BBC iPlayer following edits

Little Britain has returned to BBC’s iPlayer after a series of edits to episodes.

Starring David Walliams and Matt Lucas, Little Britain first started on Radio 4 in 2000 before moving to screen on BBC Three and later BBC One.

Episodes of the series, which last aired in 2007, were pulled from streaming services iPlayer, Netflix and BritBox in 2020.

The BBC 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 this week saw episodes return, albeit with edits made.

Some sketches have been removed completely while other episodes are proceeded with warnings that they contain “discriminatory language”.

The BBC explained: “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 20 years since the show was first made.”

When the series was first removed in 2020, Matt and David issued an apology on social media.

They said in a joint statement: “[We] 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.”

Matt has previously expressed regret over some of the show’s sketches.

“If I could go back and do Little Britain again, I wouldn’t make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn’t play black characters,” he told the Big Issue in 2017.

He added: “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.”

At the time of writing, Little Britain’s previous TV series remain available unedited on DVD via Amazon.

Meanwhile, David and Matt have recently revealed plans to revive another their sketch comedy shows Rock Profile, which was last seen in 2009.

The pair will return with a one-off special for Comic Relief.