Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

Libel damages for Britain stars

David Walliams and Matt Lucas
Little Britain USA was filmed in the US for cable channel HBO

Comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams have accepted libel damages over claims Little Britain USA offended gay groups.

The duo, who were not in the High Court on Friday, received an apology from Express Newspapers over a story that appeared in the Daily Star Sunday.

In September the newspaper alleged the pair had offended "pink protest groups" with scenes from their recent BBC show.

There was in fact no such protest while the two groups mentioned appeared not to exist, Mr Justice Eady heard.

Ian Helme, counsel for Express Newspapers, offered its sincere apologies for publishing the false allegations.


According to Lucas and Walliams' advocate, the newspaper offered to pay compensation, the amount of which had yet to be agreed.

The court heard the allegations had caused considerable distress to the Little Britain duo, who felt they misrepresented their relationship with the gay community.

The case is one of a number of high-profile libel actions that have gone before Mr Justice Eady this year.

Earlier this month the judge ruled in favour of actors Josh Hartnett and Mark Lester in separate libel suits launched against the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail respectively.

Little Britain USA, made for cable channel HBO in the US, was filmed in the US and featured such regular characters as Vicky Pollard and Emily Howard.

The show received mixed reviews in the US, with some reviewers taking issue with its "crude" and "tasteless" humour.

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