With the BBC’s Director General Lord Tony Hall looking to make £100 million worth of savings, the news broke recently that the channel BBC3 was included in the cull. While he may save the £85 million a year it costs to run the channel, he’s also earned a substantial amount of ire from audiences and celebrities, particularly those who found their way to fame from piloting their shows on the channel.
Some of the most well-known and iconic British TV shows of recent years began on BBC3, with Little Britain, Gavin and Stacey andThe Mighty Boosh being some of the most successful of recent memory. While also featuring some lower brow content in the past eleven years (My Man Boobs and Me being one of the less provocative) it has also broadcast 7 BAFTA winning shows in its 11 years on the air, as well as earning accolades from numerous institutions.
While Lord Hall attempted to pacify critics, saying the cuts are necessary to keep programmes like Sherlock and Doctor Who funded (and that the channel will continue online) several celebrities have weighed in with their support of BBC3. Matt Lucas, Jack Whitehall, David Walliams and Russell Tovey made their names on the channel, and have all tweeted backing the saving of the channel. UEA Alumni Greg James pointed to the “uninterrupted and unrivalled coverage of the big music festivals” being another point in its favour.
With a petition to save BBC3 having garnered over 128,000 supporters at time of writing, the future of BBC3 is yet to be decided.