Little Britain's return to TV as part of the BBC's Big Night In has proven to be predictably controversial, with viewers slamming the comedy as "racist".

Co-creators David Walliams and Matt Lucas presented a stripped back version of the show for the Comic Relief and Children in Need fundraiser.

But if viewers thought that the programme might also be stripped of its notoriously problematic humour, they were mistaken.

Within seconds, the character Andy, who pretends to need a wheelchair, demanded a 'bat' for dinner, referencing the widespread conspiracy theory that coronavirus was first transmitted to humans in this way.

Although it is very likely Covid-19 did originate with bats, the suggestion that eating one is what passed it on to humans is mere speculation.

Some viewers also criticised the joke as 'racist' because of the suggestion that coronavirus stemmed from a person in China eating a bat.

The show as a whole has been criticised for using racist stereotypes since its premiere in 2003.

People are questioning why it's back.

Walliams and Lucas are, indeed, no strangers to controversy, which they made light of during the show.

The pair reprised a sketch widely condemned as transphobic in which they wear elaborate dresses and declare "I'm a lady".

Lucas quickly cut it off by saying "I don't think we should be doing this sketch any more".

The duo have previously apologised for the inclusion of transphobic jokes in Little Britain, which contributed to a particularly transphobic period of British comedy in the early noughties.

But the show has faced seemingly endless controversies, having variously been labelled sexist, classist and fatphobic.

Whilst Lucas and Walliams may have apologised for their transphobic jokes, these are just a small part of what makes Little Britain – and their other comedy, Come Fly With Me – so offensive.

Perhaps its time to leave these problematic 'comedies' in the past.

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