Little Britain: why the BBC cancelled the show

Now on sale is Matt Lucas’ excellent sort-of-autobiography, Little Me: My Life From A-Z. It’s a candid, interesting book, and one that shed light on why he and David Walliams never got to make a fourth UK series of Little Britain.

Lucas openly discusses the difficulties getting the BBC to take on the show in the first place, and then how it became the phenomenon it did. Lucas and Walliams thus went to America and made Little Britain USA, but on their return, they planned to work with the material they’d produced for the US show, and do a final series of Little Britain in the UK.

Turns out, the plan was scuppered by the BBC. Whilst they’d been away, Jay Hunt had taken over as controller of BBC One, which was screening the show following its migration from BBC Three to Two, and then eventually to One. Hunt hadn’t commissioned the show in the first place, and she had concerns that Little Britain’s time was up. Rather than allowing Lucas and Walliams one more series, she effectively cancelled the show. “She felt that the show had had its day”, Lucas recalls in his book. “

“We offered to show her the scripts, but she said she thought it was time for us to do something else. So if you want to know why we stopped making Little Britain – well, it wasn’t our choice and there’s at least half a series’ worth still lurking on our hard drives somewhere!”

Lucas also admitted that they were surprised by the decision, but Hunt was keen to work with the pair, just on something else. That something else turned out to be their next show, Come Fly With Me

Lucas’ book is on sale now, published by Canongate.