UPDATE: BBC Three to close as on-air channel
It's now been confirmed: BBC Three is to become an online channel only.
UPDATE: It has now been confirmed that BBC Three in its current form is to close, moving to an online model only. Ongoing shows will move to BBC One and BBC Two. £30m of extra budget, earmarked for drama, will move to BBC One. This does need to be ratified by the BBC Trust, which now remains the last chance to save BBC Three in its current form.
Here's our original story...
It's a situation nobody envies. Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, announced at last week's Oxford Media Convention that the corporation needs to save another £100 million a year. Hall says the BBC doesn't want to resort to "salami slicing", or in other words, cutting a little here and a little there from all over the corporation. That means a drastic chop. It might mean the end of digital channels BBC Three and BBC Four.
There's been no official word yet on the future of the digital channels, though a BBC spokesperson has said that while no decisions have been made, "...nothing is off the table". It's been suggested that BBC Four (which stopped making original drama last year) could be absorbed into BBC Two programming in future.
Say what you will about the channel's popular Snog, Marry, Avoid or Sun, Sex, & Suspicious Parents strand, but BBC Three has also given us the likes of dramas Being Human, In The Flesh, The Fades, and Torchwood, along with Doctor Who Confidential, The Mighty Boosh, Gavin & Stacey and Ideal, to name just a few.
Comedians and actors whose work has been nurtured by the youth-oriented digital channel, notably Little Britain's Matt Lucas, Radio One's Nick Grimshaw and Bad Education's Jack Whitehall, have added their support to a "Save BBC Three" campaign. We'll bring you more news as it arrives.
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