'Little Britain' has been removed from BBC iPlayer, BritBox, and Netflix due to the show's use of blackface.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams

Matt Lucas and David Walliams

The BBC comedy show - which originally aired between 2003 and 2005 - has been axed by streaming services following concerns about the use of blackface by the programme's main stars, David Walliams and Matt Lucas.

In a statement about the removal, a spokesperson for the BBC told the Daily Mail newspaper: "There's a lot of historical programming available on BBC iPlayer, which we regularly review. Times have changed since 'Little Britain' first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer."

Since the show began in 2003, 'Little Britain' has long been the subject of controversy surrounding its sketches, including its depiction of "portly Thai bride" Ting Tong - played by Matt Lucas - and of Desiree DeVere, a black woman played by David Walliams in full blackface.

And following renewed focus on issues of race and representation amid the current Black Lives Matter protests, the show has come under fire again, prompting streaming services to cut ties with the series.

Alongside 'Little Britain', Netflix has also axed spin-off series 'Come Fly With Me'.

BritBox - which brings together both BBC and ITV content in one streaming platform - said in their own statement: "Times have changed since 'Little Britain' first aired, so it is not currently available on BritBox. 'Come Fly With Me' has not been available on the service for six months."

Meanwhile, Matt Lucas previously expressed regret about some of the characters featured in the show.

Speaking in 2017, he said: "If I could go back and do 'Little Britain' again, I wouldn't make those jokes about transvestites. I wouldn't play black characters. Basically, I wouldn't make that show now. It would upset people. We made a more cruel kind of comedy than I'd do now."