Why we shouldn’t overlook BBC Three

by | Mar 5, 2014 | All, Opinions, Reviews

According to recent news reports the BBC is preparing to axe one of its main TV channels to help it find another £100million in savings. What the broadcaster will do to make those savings is still unknown, but that hasn’t stopped people speculating that BBC Three could be disappearing or just producing content for an online audience. So, what would loosing the teen focused channel mean to us? Well in its infancy BBC Three produced some interesting programming. Its first home made drama Burn It was an interesting twist on what the terrestrial drama was offering at the time. My all time favourite BBC Three drama was the truly incredible Bodies. This masterful series was penned by Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio and was good enough to receive a primetime repeat on BBC2 in the same year. Other notable dramas for the channel include the bizarrely brilliant Funland, Being Human and the cruelly axed BAFTA winning series The Fades.  Just going back and looking at some of its drama output makes you realise that the BBC Three of 2014 is a very different animal. Recent drama successes like The Crash and In the Flesh have shown huge promise, but the channel has become a slight laughing stock. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still miles better than the god awful tripe that the geniuses over at ITV2 think the youth should be enjoying, but recent output like Badults and Boom Town have done nothing to help the channel’s flagging reputation.

Bodies 2004 – 2006

BBC Three still has a purpose and does provide programming for a younger audience that more mainstream broadcasters don’t seem to cater for. For me, BBC Three modern day BBC Three excels with its documentary output. No, not The Truth About Webcam Girls or sending Reggie Yates somewhere he’s likely to be shot, but the thought provoking documentaries on bullying, eating disorders, young people in the workplace and series like Junior Doctors and Tough Young Teachers have shone spotlights onto young people succeeding in  life, and we don’t see enough of that on mainstream television. When most people think of BBC Three I’m willing to bet they immediately think of its more trashy programming like Snog, Marry Avoid, or Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, and the sad fact is that is primarily the sort of programming BBC Three has been churning out of late. When you look at the output of repeats of Great Movie Mistakes and reality series about hair it’s easy to forget this channel once provided a decent springboard for new writers to experiment. Most will have forgotten BBC Three was once the home of Little Britain and the much loved Gavin & Stacey. 

Gavin & Stacey 2007 – 2009

I believe BBC Three should be given spared in the cuts, but that’s only if it can find its identity again. In my opinion the channel is in a bit of crisis at the moment, churning out the same cheap and tacky programming. It’s a shame any cuts need to be made but, BBC Three has an audience,  and if it is spared the chop I hope the commissioners start to respect that audience a lot. more.

The #SaveBBC3 campaign has garnered a lot of support on Twitter and I’ll be surprised if it goes. So if you think BBC3 deserves saving use that hashtag and give yourself a voice

My Top 5 BBC3 programmes

1) Bodies (2004 – 2006)

2) Gavin & Stacey (2007 – 2009)

3) Him & Her (2010 – 2013) 

4) The Smoking Room (2004 – 2006) 

5) Don’t Tell the Bride (2009 – Present) 

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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