Little Britain stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas have won a public apology and undisclosed libel damages at London’s High Court over a Daily Star Sunday story suggesting they had caused uproar among the gay community over a Little Britain series aimed at the US.
Mr Justice David Eady was told today, as settlement of their libel action against Express Newspapers was announced, that in September this year Little Britain USA was scheduled to make its debut in the US.
The comedy pair sued over an article headed: ‘Little Britain USA Exposed’with the sub-heading: “Gay Fatty Jokes Put Yanks on the Warpath.”
Their solicitor, Rod Christie-Miller, said that two gay protest groups mentioned in the article – the West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Alliance and New York Gay Pride – had described the programme as “grossly insulting”.
He said that the article also claimed that they were demanding that Home Box Office, the network set to show the programme, had been asked to ‘pull the plug’on the series.
He added: ‘The article clearly suggested that Little Britain USA went beyond the scope of acceptable public viewing and that as a result gay and lesbian groups were calling for some sketches in the series to be banned and for the viewing public to boycott the series. As a result of the article, other articles were published repeating the sting of the allegations.”
He said that the allegations had caused ‘considerable distress’to both Walliams and Lucas and had also caused significant damage to their reputations.
‘The allegations have been particularly hurtful because Mr Walliams and Mr Lucas consider that they misrepresent their relationship with an important fan base – the gay community,’said Christie-Miller.
He said that settlement had now been reached on the matter and that Express Newspapers had agreed to pay libel damages and the legal costs of Walliams and Lucas and would publish an apology.