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Entertainment Phillip Schofield 'winces' at Little Britain sketches

17:42  10 june  2020
17:42  10 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Phillip Schofield wearing a suit and tie © Bang Showbiz Phillip Schofield

Phillip Schofield "winces" when he sees 'Little Britain's blackface sketches.

The 'This Morning' presenter was discussing the decision by BBC iPlayer, BritBox, and Netflix to remove the comedy show from their streaming platforms following concerns about the use of blackface by the programme's main stars, David Walliams and Matt Lucas and Phillip admitted that these days the show makes him uncomfortable.

He explained: "It was a great series. It was incredibly popular. But you watch those sketches now and you wince, you think 'oh my God'.

"It strikes at you and that's exactly what they should do."

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In a statement about the removal, a spokesperson for the BBC told the Daily Mail newspaper: "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."

Since the show began in 2003, 'Little Britain' has long been the subject of controversy surrounding its sketches, including its depiction of "portly Thai bride" Ting Tong - played by Matt Lucas - and of Desiree DeVere, a black woman played by David Walliams in full blackface.

And following renewed focus on issues of race and representation amid the current Black Lives Matter protests, the show has come under fire again, prompting streaming services to cut ties with the series.

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Alongside 'Little Britain', Netflix has also axed spin-off series 'Come Fly With Me'.

BritBox - which brings together both BBC and ITV content in one streaming platform - said in their own statement: "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."

Meanwhile, Matt Lucas previously expressed regret about some of the characters featured in the show.

Speaking in 2017, he said: "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."

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