So, unfortunately today, The Guardian unveiled the news that BBC3 is to be axed from TV scheduling to an online only channel in order to save the British Broadcasting Corporation £100 million a year; although it is yet to be confirmed it is said to have been brought upon by the current Director General Tony Hall. It is said that the decision was between BBC3 or BBC4 to be axed from it’s current schedule and he has opted in favour of losing the eleven year old channel which was more orientated towards the younger generation. So is losing BBC3 such a great loss for us?
Well whilst the older generation may turn their noses down at such a ‘immature’ channel we can’t forget that Little Britain, Gavin & Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Being Human, Him & Her, Torchwood not to mention the brilliant Olympic 2012 coverage and all the highlights from the biggest UK music festivals are all aired by BBC3. Sure, it has the usual toff that any channel brings, the utterly awful and addictive Don’t Tell The Bride, Hair, Sun, Sex & Suspicious Parents amongst Snog, Marry, Avoid and many others; but what channel is perfect? What alternative’s will the younger generation have instead? ITV3? ITV2? Channels with nonsensical celebrities trying to give us a sneak peek into their lives, I’m looking at you Peter Andre, or the god awful and stopped being funny years ago Keith Lemon Celebrity Juice roadshow.
When I was a teenager I loved anything weird, outrageous and out there and BBC2 filled that perfectly with the original dark comedy that was The League of Gentleman. BBC3 was set to be the answer to all my prayers by commissioning great original drama, comedy and documentaries that were essentially created by the young people for the young people. I guess it was the BBC’s answer to what Channel 4 were being able to throw out to such a large audience. What was probably set to be a foolish short lived channel, turned in to a cultural turning point for the teenagers and young folk through the noughties airing worldwide phenomenons such as Little Britain and Gavin & Stacey which shot the likes of David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Ruth Jones and James Corden into modern masterpieces at creating great new comedy. Not to mention the corny but unashamedly addictive spin off from Doctor Who; Torchwood and all those great shows that incorporated the great Russell Tovey and shot him into oblivion before his now great success and love for being such a great and unique actor.
So, why is the BBC’s decision to remove BBC3 from TV scheduling such a huge mistake? It’s not just the great shows it gave us but the opportunities for young writers, actors, filmmakers, editors, researchers, directors, runners, sound artists, electricians to dream big. One of the most historical channels in the world and in media history was giving an opportunity for young people to dream of their ideas come to life to such a huge audience; and unfortunately they’re taking that away by moving their voice to only the internet. Of course online players and the internet is such a huge part of modern film and television culture; but I can’t help but think that the BBC are shooting themselves in the foot by denying that voice to be so iconically displayed on the box in your living room. After all, it’ll be the youth of today that are expected to deny the pirates and pay up for their license fee, but why bother when they’re not bothering to make the effort to satisfy your needs? BBC3 will be a huge loss from our television schedules and a huge mistake for the trust between the BBC and the younger generation.