Is BBC3 Facing Closure Despite High Profile Opposition?
More information on BBC3's future will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, 6 March.
In 2010 BBC 6Music was saved following a vocal campaign from both high profile individuals in the music industry and fans of the show. Fast-forward 4 years and a similarly niche sub-section of the BBC – the television channel BBC3 – is facing extinction, unless a social media campaign and some celebrity backers can save it.
The news of BBC3’s impending downgrade from fully fledged digital channel to limited online-only content provider came as Tony Hall made a speech last week, in which he said "tough choices" would have to be made if the corporation was to meet its savings target.
"We are in the final stages of a budget process to find an extra £100m of savings," he said at the Oxford Media Convention. "I will announce the outcome of those decisions in the next month." This represents a bit of a U-turn for Lord Hall, who said in October that the channel wouldn’t face closure. "I wouldn't consider closing a channel,” he told the World At One. "The public feel very strongly about all the services the BBC runs. We have to find other ways [of saving money]".
BBC 3 is, though, receiving some high profile celebrity support from stars who made their name in British sitcoms allowed to flourish on the alternative channel. Stars like Matt Lucas, Jack Whitehall and Russell Howard are lobbying ahead of an official announcement this Thursday about its future.
"I really hope reports that the BBC may kill BBC3 are just rumours. [Their] support of new comedy in particular is vital! #saveBBC3," wrote Whitehall, who writes and stars in Bad Education on the channel.
This could spell the end for great new shows like 'Uncle'
"Hearing horrible rumours about the possible closure of BBC3. This would be really bad for new comedy. Like, REALLY bad. #SaveBBC3," said Matt Lucas, who also posted "#SaveBBC3" over and over again. He added: "Little Britain, Gavin & Stacey, Torchwood, Being Human, Mighty Boosh, Pramface, Ideal - BBC3 is the home of new comedy & drama #SaveBBC3."