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BBC Three to return as broadcast channel next year - get the details

The channel is behind such BBC successes as Normal People, Fleabag, RuPaul's Drag Race and more

bbc three to return© Photo: BBC
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
March 2, 2021
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BBC Three is being brought back as a regular TV channel, five years after it was taken off air and moved online.

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An exact date as to when the youth-orientated channel will be back on air has yet to be confirmed, but it is believed that viewers will be able to watch from January 2022, subject to Ofcom approval.

As before, it will run from 7pm to 4am daily and will offer up lots of new exciting programmes for viewers to watch since the BBC has committed to doubling the investment on BBC Three commissions over the next two years.

WATCH: Normal People became a breakout hit for the channel last year

The BBC's chief content officer Charlotte Moore said: "BBC Three is a BBC success story, backing creativity, new talent and brave ideas has resulted in hit after hit ... The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK.

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"So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again," she continued. 

"It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value."

BBC drag race© Photo: BBC

RuPaul's Drag Race UK has been a massive success for the channel

BBC Three launched in 2003 and quickly won over legions of young viewers with shows like Gavin and Stacey, Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Since it moved entirely online in 2016, the channel has been behind comedy successes such as This Country, People Just Do Nothing and Man Like Mobeen, as well as hard-hitting documentaries Stacey Dooley's Investigations and Jesy Nelson's Odd One Out.

BBC Gavin and stacey© Photo: BBC

The channel was launched in 2003 before being taken off air in 2016

Last year Normal People, an adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel, propelled BBC Three to its biggest ever week on iPlayer, with 21.8 million requests for the programme.

More recently, competition reality shows like RuPaul's Drag Race UK and Glow Up have proved hugely popular with viewers.

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