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The Big Night In: BBC receives 180 complaints over ‘offensive content’ amid Little Britain backlash

David Walliams and Matt Lucas’s comedy comeback proved controversial

Ellie Harrison
Friday 01 May 2020 16:10 BST
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Little Britain sketches: Big Night In

The BBC has received 181 complaints about “offensive content” in its charity show The Big Night In.

The three-hour-long programme, which saw Children In Need and Comic Relief team up to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts, received a backlash when it aired earlier this month over a Little Britain sketch.

Many accused David Walliams and Matt Lucas’s comedy comeback of being racist, ableist and anti-trans after they made jokes about disability and eating bats, as well as bringing back their infamous “I’m a lady” skit.

While there is no information about which specific part of The Big Night In viewers were offended by, the BBC’s fortnightly complaints report cites “offensive content or humour” as the “main issue”.

The Big Night In raised £67m for charity and also featured comic performances by Catherine Tate, Dawn French, Peter Kay and Prince William, who cracked a joke about not wearing trousers on Zoom.

The show marked Kay's first TV appearance in two years, as he was filmed eating an ice lolly and introducing the new "Amarillo" music video.

Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Matt Baker, Zoe Ball and Paddy McGuinness presented the night of entertainment.

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