It all started when Matt Lucas and David Walliams decided to make a radio show few years ago called ‘Little Britain’. Who would have known that some radio show would then be turned into a TV show and attract almost everyone in ‘Little Britain’? Now that it is very successful and has been running for a few years, have the producers run out of funny jokes? Now that the jokes are predictable and unfunny, the produces decided to make their jokes even ruder to make it funny again, which worked differently for everyone. Some people thought that they took a step too far and others are still hard fans of the show.
Is the show called ‘Little Britain’ because Britain is so small that it is possible to laugh at everyone in Britain? I think ‘Little Britain’ made fun of everyone there is, may it be their race, size, gender, class or sexuality. The show does have elements of Britain and you may start thinking that they might be celebrating that aspect but then it turns into mockery. ‘Little Britain’ is all about Britain and does show everyday things from our lives. For example the costumes, stereotypes can be found in Britain, but it does not show that in a good way.
When ‘Little Britain’ was turned into a TV show from Radio show it quickly attracted millions of fans across UK. Soon it won ‘Best Comedy Performance’, ‘Comedy Programme’ and ‘Series Award’ at the BAFTAs in 2005. For the first two series the humour did not rely heavily on racist and sexual jokes. The humour was created by visual comedy and language. As the show went on and the third series started, the humour started relying more on sexual and racist jokes. There are some fans who thought that the third series were painful and disgusting to watch. But it’s not everyone who agrees that ‘Little Britain’ is bad. There are some fans that think it is good to have this kind of shows to make them feel better and forget their problems.
Every episode starts with the narrator – Tom Baker talking about Britain. One of his quotes: “Britain, Britain, Britain. We’ve had running water for over ten years, we have a tunnel connecting us to Peru and we invented the cat”. Because his accent is posh you think that he is going to say something intelligent but instead he always says something ridiculous like inventing the cat or something like that. I guess the show starts with narrator to warm up the viewers.
‘Little Britain’ is mostly about stereotypes in Britain. Vicky Pollard is a good example of stereotype. She is stereotypical ‘chav’. She is not very intelligent, cannot talk properly and even swaps her baby for Westlife CD. In one of the episodes, when she is trying to shoplift, the camera zooms in to show her feet and the sweets she was trying to steal. A close up shot is used to show detail and to show how stupid Vicky Pollard is. Her famous catchphrase is: “No, but, yeah, but, no…” This stereotype mocks the teenagers in Britain. It might have some truth in the sketch, but most of it is just exaggerated.
Also the costumes are stereotyped. Emily and Florence wear dresses to look more feminine which are old fashioned dresses from Victorian times. Women used to wear those kinds of dresses and the show is stereotyping the old fashion in Britain.
Another stereotype is Judy and Maggie’s sketch. They are from Women’s Institute who taste different foods at voluntary or charity events. After Maggie find out that she is eating food that is prepared by someone non-white, heterosexual she vomits a lot, usually on someone. This just stereotypes that British do not like people who are not their race or gay.
Some people could say that ‘Little Britain’ celebrates the country because it shows little things that represents Britain, but in a funny, humorous way. They could say that those jokes about race, sexuality or size are funny because it happens in everyday life, but the bottom line is that this show satirizes Britain.