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BBC Big on 'Little Britain'

16 May, 2005 By: Brendan Howard

Will BBC Video have another “The Office” in the offing with the sketch-comedy show “Little Britain”? “I think, if anything, ‘Little Britain' has the ability to attract more kinds of people,” said BBC Video VP Burton Cromer. “It's much lighter and funnier. Also, the characters have [stories running through the series]. You're wondering, ‘What's going to happen to this character next?’

The show's first-season set was the top-selling DVD in Britain last Christmas. And the show just won two 2005 BAFTA Awards for best comedy performance and, for the second consecutive year, best comedy program.

BBC hopes this will translate into success in the United States, where the series' first season streets Aug. 16 (prebook July 12) as a $29.98 two-DVD set. The timing of the release takes advantage of the BBC America debut of the show's second season (Aug. 17) and an all-day “Little Britain” marathon (Aug. 14).

Creators Matt Lucas and David Walliams populate the off-kilter “Little Britain” with characters played by themselves, including trailer-trash teen Vicky Pollard and transvestite Emily Howard.

BBC will use the same DVD that sold big in Britain. It has commentary, a behind-the-scenes documentary, the pilot episode, deleted scenes, sketches from the creators' early show, live sketches, a “What Does Britain Mean to You?” survey, and TV and radio interviews with Lucas and Walliams.

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