Telly Text #36: The Closure Of BBC Three

on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Words: Jordan Andrew

Since the news of BBC Three potentially closing down and turning into an online channel, I have wondered why the BBC would make such a decision. Yes, they have cuts to make since their budget has been reduced, however I am sure other cuts could have been made considering the channel's popularity. With the likelihood of BBC three departing, I thought I would highlight some of the best shows to come out of BBC Three.

'Little Britain'

Matt Lucas and David Williams' big break came thanks to 'Little Britain', with such characters like ‘Andy and Lou’, ‘Daffyd’ ‘Marjorie’, Sebastian’ and ‘Vicky Pollard’. The catchphrases from the show were said all over the nation and even spread across the USA for 'Little Britain USA'. The show ran for three series before ending on a high in 2006 - by then airing on BBC One.

'Gavin & Stacey'

In 2007, we were given the gift of 'Gavin & Stacey', starring Mathew Horne, James Corden, Ruth Jones and Joanna Page. 'Gavin & Stacey' was a breakthrough hit for BBC Three and regularly was nominated for awards. The show was quickly moved to BBC Two before ending in 2010 on BBC One. The show has allowed Corden and Horne to expand and become television regulars, with Corden now heading off to the USA to start his late night chat show.

'Being Human'

This supernatural drama started 2008 and was an instant hit for BBC Three, going on for five series before ending in 2013. 'Being Human' brought a ghost, vampire and werewolf together, and made our heart race each series. The show went through quite a few changes in terms of the cast but that did not stop the popularity on BBC Three and iPlayer. Russell Tovey has since starred in fellow BBC Three show 'Him & Her' and now in Sky Atlantic’s US hit 'Looking'.

'Bad Education'

One of most recent comedy smash hits has to be 'Bad Education', starring Jack Whitehall, as the worst teacher that you could possibly get. Starting in 2012, 'Bad Education' was well praised, and at the time was the highest rated first episode for BBC Three - a record since broken by 'Cuckoo'. Concluding last year, 'Bad Education' gave Jack Whitehall the boost to have a chat show with his dad called 'Backchat', which airs on BBC Two after starting guessed it, BBC Three.

'Russell Howard’s Good News'

Russell Howard became prominent as a comedian on 'Mock The Week', before he really came into his own on 'Russell Howard’s Good News'. Starting in 2009, the Howard-led programme has been the longest show to stay in the BBC Three family. After nine series, 'Good News' has now moved to BBC Two, I some may say due to the closure, others may say due to the fact it can grab more ratings.

'Murdered By My Boyfriend'

BBC Three is not all light and fluffy - sometimes it can get real dark and serious with recent one-off drama 'Murdered By My Boyfriend'. It still sends chills down my spine writing about such a powerful drama and at the time I highly praised BBC Three for broadcasting this. I was clearly not the only with millions of viewers watching it on either repeats or BBC iPlayer, and the programme had a lasting impact.

'In The Flesh'

One of the shows to be affected by the budget cuts is 'In The Flesh', which was recently cancelled by the BBC after two series. This BAFTA-award winning supernatural drama had critical acclaim and loyal fans, however that could not save them from the chop. These are the type of dramas we could be missing out if the BBC plan goes ahead.


My personal favourite BBC Three show has to be 'Cuckoo' which started in 2012 with Andy Samberg, however had to take a long break due to Samberg’s commitments. When series two came back we were given Taylor Lautner but with the same 'Cuckoo' madness - such that it made my end of year list. That 'Cuckoo' holds the record the highest rated first episode for BBC Three that must mean something. If a third series is to go ahead it would be a shame to have it only air online.

To sum up BBC Three have had a lot of hit shows and it would be a real loss to have it go online. With 'Family Guy' not going along with the current BBC Three plan, it will be interesting to see how these next few days pan out. If you are interested in saving BBC Three, sign the petition and get behind the campaign, which we here at FADED GLAMOUR are backing. You can view the campaign website at and fill in the petition here.

Read previous Telly Text columns here and find more from Jordan at @jrory.

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