Yesterday it was reported that the BBC had pulled all episodes of Matt Lucas and David Walliams' show Little Britain from the BBC Player, Netflix and Britbox streaming service, after an increasing campaign against the show's availability. The TV show that originally began on Radio 4 in the early noughties (and briefly went back to it for a bit in the teens) was in its day one of the most popular comedies on British television. But certain characters they played such as mail order bride Ting Tong, the big black lady and rival of Bubbles, Desiree have not he'd well and the 'bad transvestites' Emily Howard and Florence seem from another world, something they acknowledged in a lockdown revival of the show a couple of months ago.
So what is the natural reaction of the Great British public? Well, it seems to be the same as when we learned that supermarkets were running out of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, tinned tomatoes, pasta and flour. We decide to go out and buy as much of it as possible, making the situation even worse. We have decided, somehow, that we are running out of Little Britain. And have gone and bought all the DVDs and Blu Rays we can.
As I write this, the Little Britain Series 1-3 boxset is the second-biggest selling DVD on the Amazon UK chart, just behind 1917. And the third-biggest selling DVD is the Little Britain Complete Collection which includes Little Britain Live, a recording of the mass hit stage version of the show as well. Sonic The Hedgehog comes in at fourth and the also-pulled Come Fly With Me broken comedy by Lucas and Walliams which is the highest position this set had ever gotten because no one liked it even then. But now that it's been banned on streaming, suddenly everyone wants to see it.
They are the three biggest-selling boxsets on Amazon UK right now. The three biggest comedy DVD/Blu Rays. The top three TV DVD Blu/Rays. All published by the BBC, so they are raking in the cash. No doubt about it, they are making more money from not streaming this show right now than by streaming it. Look for them to sell out the hundreds of thousands of copies published and then go for some outrageous amounts. Until the BBC changes their mind and puts them back, of course.