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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 00:26 GMT
Little Britain sketch criticised
David Walliams in the Little Britain sketch
Little Britain has a history of controversy
A sketch in BBC One comedy Little Britain which showed a woman urinating uncontrollably in a shop has been criticised by an incontinence charity.

Lesley Woolnough, executive director of Incontact, said the sketch was offensive and in poor taste.

"This kind of media exposure pushed beyond the bounds of decency and did no-one any favours," she said.

However, a BBC spokesman said the sketch was not offensive as it was not grounded in reality.

People with incontinence are often ridiculed, but it is not a joke
Lesley Woolnough

Ms Woolnough said continence problems were very common and debilitating.

"They lead to social and emotional isolation for both men and women of all ages," she said.

"People with incontinence are often ridiculed, but it is not a joke, and the condition can be life-destroying for many older people.

"The comedy sketch by Little Britain shown this week depicting an older lady wetting herself openly in a supermarket was in poor taste, and for many of our 15,000 members particularly offensive."

BBC spokesperson said: "Comedy is a subjective medium, and the Little Britain characters have been deliberately magnified to cartoonish proportions.

"This particular sketch is exaggerated to such an extreme level, it's clear that it has no grounding in reality."

The first episode in the third series of BBC One comedy show was watched by 9.5m viewers and introduced the incontinent lady as one of a number of new regular comic characters played by David Walliams and co-star Matt Lucas.

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