Little Britain Big Night In called 'racist' for bat-eating joke

Little Britain's Big Night In sketch criticised over 'racist' bat-eating joke

A comedy misfire...

Little Britain returned to our screens on Thursday (April 23) as stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas performed various sketches for BBC's Big Night In telethon. Although, elements have been accused of being insensitive by those watching at home.

Walliams and Lucas tackled some controversial subjects (remotely, from their own houses, on separate screens) once again, resurrecting many sketches and characters from the original Little Britain series, one being carer Lou and disabled man Andy.

Lou (Walliams) asked Andy (Lucas) what he wanted for dinner, only for the latter to reply: "Bats." "You want to eat a bat for your tea?" Lou replied. "I don't think it's a good idea eating a bat."

Viewers have taken to Twitter to voice the "racist" elements of this joke, particularly after misinformation has been spread amid the coronavirus crisis that the disease originated from people in China eating bats.

david walliams as lou, matt lucas as andy, little britain sketch during bbc big night in for comic relief

Related: Dawn French brings back The Vicar of Dibley for BBC's Big Night In

One posted: "Little Britain still racist, xenophobic and ableist in the big year of 2020," while another posted: "Little Britain have done blackface and yellowface, so should I be surprised they opened with an Eating Bat joke? No..."

Punches were not pulled, with another viewer tweeting: "Little Britain is a nasty racist, sexist everything-ist show."

The Independent has also reported that the entire telethon was "marred only by Little Britain's racist return".

Unfortunately, the arguably bum-note comedy didn't quite stop there. When the comedy duo appeared as female characters, Florence and Emily, one said to the other: "I'm a lady!"

The other replied: "I am also a lady, but I'm not sure we should be doing this sketch anymore." Perhaps the point had been missed, there?

florence and emily, little britain, bbc big night in for comic relief

Related: Matt Baker returns to The One Show for BBC telethon The Big Night In

Matt Lucas talked years ago of his regrets over some of the jokes the duo included in the original series. "Basically, I wouldn't make that show now. It would upset people," he explained previously.

Other acts from the telethon included a virtual Time Lord reunion as Jodie Whittaker, David Tennant, Matt Smith and seven more of their former Doctor Who predecessors united, while Coronation Street's Liz McDonald dropped by Walford's virtual pub quiz in EastEnders.

BBC's Big Night In is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now. To donate to the BBC's Big Night In, text HOPE to 70210 to donate £10 or HOPE to 70220 to donate £20. You can visit the official BBC website for all of the terms and conditions.

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