Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
By the time it cleaned up at the 2004 British Comedy Awards, beating out such formidable competition as The Office and Nighty Night, this sketch-comedy showcase had already been through several incarnations. Originally produced as an audio series for the BBC's Radio Four, Little Britain won fans across the U.K. for its subversive send-up of 21st century British archetypes: a laddish lothario with a thing for his mate's elderly gran; a bossy small-town gay boy desperate to hold onto his uniqueness; the world's most unconvincing cross-dresser; and a sour, surly diet guru with a weight problem of her own. The brainchild of Matt Lucas and David Walliams, who portray many of their own creations, Little Britain progressed to a successful television incarnation on the new digital channel BBC3 in early 2003. With Tom Baker on board as the program's sardonic narrator and Buffy the Vampire Slayer vet Anthony Stewart Head portraying a put-upon prime minister, the show quickly earned a cult following. By the time a second series appeared in 2004, Little Britain had been promoted to the more mainstream BBC1. Multiple wins at the aforementioned British Comedy Awards established the program's status as a marquee attraction. But its geographically specific humor did not immediately attain international popularity the way previous Britcoms such as Absolutely Fabulous had.