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24 September 2014
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THREE is the magic number

Intelligent, funny and relevant: BBC THREE offers a new voice to young adults

Press pack available below
Video clips available below


BBC THREE, television's boldest single investment in the future of Britain's creative talent, brings a distinctive new voice to a generation of young adults when it launches on 9 February 2003.

Intelligent, funny and relevant, BBC THREE is unique. It is the only channel aimed at people in their 20s and 30s which offers a genuinely mixed schedule of quality British programmes, and reflects their complex lives, concerns and interests.

Jana Bennett, Director of Television, said: "With its launch, BBC THREE begins a journey to bring alive modern public service values for a generation of young adults. As well as giving them the best in entertainment, we want to help them navigate what is happening to them, to the world around them and to the wider world.

"And navigation of the BBC is a lot easier too now that we can count from ONE to FOUR without hesitation, repetition or deviation. BBC THREE completes the BBC's vision of a family of public service channels which, taken together, offer something to please, interest and inform all of the UK audience some of the time."

Outlining the channel's first schedule, Stuart Murphy, Controller of BBC THREE, added: "BBC THREE will be packed full of modern, radical, imaginative and funny British shows. In every programme, whether it is science, arts, comedy, current affairs, drama, news, documentaries or animation, it will be BBC THREE's job to raise the creative game, and to be constantly surprising and stimulating."

Developing talent

"From a comedienne who was working in Woolworths 18 months ago and an ex Borstal boy who has found his voice as a journalist to the brilliance of Dom Joly and Johnny Vaughan, BBC THREE is the only channel committed to giving both new and known names the encouragement to experiment with the unexpected," says Stuart Murphy.

BBC THREE's commitment to developing talent can be seen in the launch schedule in:

Burn It - an original drama for BBC THREE· Burn It, a gripping and original drama from first-time screen writer Matt Greenhalgh. Made by the award-winning Red Productions, it is the story of three Manchester men discovering what it means to hit 30, and realising that there might be more to life than just their mates.

· 3 Non-Blondes, the first all-girl hidden camera comedy show, filmed on the busy streets of Britain's cities. With the combined talent of Tameka Empson, Jocelyn Jee Esien and Ninia Benjamin, it's also the first all-girl stunt show starring fresh black female comics. Ballsy, talented and absolutely fearless, the girls take their character creations to the edge.

· Jailed by the State is part of The Third Degree, a current affairs strand which features a mix of story-led documentary, investigations and analysis. David Akinsanya, now a journalist and regular contributor to the strand, served time as a teenager in Borstal for smashing up his former college.

In Jailed by the State, David returns to the scene of his crime for the first time. He tracks down his former gang members, and the people he was in prison with, to find out whether jail put them back on the straight and narrow too.

Jailed by the State is the second BBC documentary about David's life - the first, Raised by the State, was broadcast as part of the Black Britain series in 2002.

Don't miss Dom Joly's show on BBC THREE

· In his first show for the BBC and his first ever studio show, This is Dom Joly gives viewers a minute's lesson in how to play chess, features a range of guests and an in-depth look at the Joly household through Dom's intimate video diary .


Intelligent and relevant

"BBC THREE will also be distinctive in its commitment to imaginative and intelligent programmes to suit the tastes and lifestyles of the young adult audience. These programmes will look and feel different, but their pace and style with not compromise their authority," comments Stuart Murphy.

· Body Hits investigates the very nature of pleasure and the biological pathways that drive people to excess. Viewers discover the true effects of alcohol and drugs, or even overdoing it at the gym, and the impact that they really have on the body.

It is presented by Dr John Marsden, who is a senior lecturer in addictive behaviour at the Institute of Psychiatry and has worked with both the World Health Organisation and the United Nations.

· Julian Worricker, Sangita Myska and Tazeen Ahmad will present and report for The News Show, BBC THREE's 15 minute bulletin, every weekday at 7.45pm.

They join a team of 27 dedicated journalists to deliver top national and international news stories, as well as special reports for BBC THREE viewers. The programme will also capture and analyse the day's news agenda across broadcast, online and press outlets.

In addition, 60 Seconds (currently on BBC CHOICE) will provide BBC THREE viewers with an up-to-the-minute summary of the latest national and international news on the hour, throughout the evening, starting on the launch night.

· Dreamspaces is a stylish series about modern architecture and contemporary design. Each show will be made up of topical design, a reflective look at some of the greatest modern architects, a visit to see cityscapes and celebrities discussing their favourite buildings.

It is presented by architect David Adjaye, Justine Frischman (ex lead singer of Elastica) and architect/presenter Charlie Luxton.

· Celebdaq is a unique interactive programme which combines entertainment, business and news with the excitement of real time share trading in some of the world's best known celebrities.

The programme will be truly interactive with its content generated entirely by viewers and players dictating movements on the Celebdaq exchange, based on forecasting their column inches in agreed publications.

Presented by former BBC business reporter Patrick O'Connell.


"In contrast to other channels, Britishness will be found throughout BBC THREE and I think will be one of its defining characteristics. We want to reflect the lives of young people in this country – the geographical contrasts and the ethnic mix which is part and parcel of being young and British. The channel will always be seeking shows which tread new ground with contemporary and caustic satire," said Stuart Murphy.

· Based on the highly successful BBC Radio 4 series, Little Britain comes to BBC THREE with its mix of character-based sketches written and performed by Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

From Vicky Pollard, the incoherent young offender, to Latymer Crown, the masseuse from hell, all of modern Britain is here.

· The successful chat show Johnny Vaughan Tonight returns as an exclusive for BBC THREE's launch schedule. A fresh team of roving reporters will be out and about investigating some of modern British life's absurdities.

Charlie Higson as Swiss Toni
· The Fast Show's Swiss Toni – along with his philosophy of comparing everything in life to making love to a beautiful woman – comes to the channel with his own series. Swiss Toni is written by and stars Charlie Higson.

· BBC THREE launches its own forum for recognising the icons and visionaries of tomorrow in Underground 2003 – The BBC THREE Awards. Trevor Nelson, together with a panel of experts, showcases the work of Britain's newest artists, designers, musicians, film-makers, fashion designers and architects and votes the channel's own hall of fame.

· Monkey Dust is a new cutting edge comedy animation, created by an award winning team of writers and visualised by some of London's finest animators. It enters a nocturnal world, inhabited by its satirical targets, and ranges across the whole spectrum of British society.

· Steve Coogan's philosophising Mancunian lager lout Paul Calf returns with his dead sophisticated sister Pauline for Paul and Pauline Calf's Cheese and Ham Sandwich, a specially written show recorded live at Liverpool's Neptune Theatre.

Jana Bennett said: "In its tone, its creative approach and its personality, BBC THREE carries the BBC's risk gene. At times it will chime with a wider audience, and at other times it may surprise or shock. But it would be even more of a risk not to give young adults a strong and distinctive public service channel of their own."

Performance against commitments in launch week:

· 94% of broadcast hours are made in the E.U. against a commitment of 90%

· 91% of broadcast hours are 'specially commissioned' for BBC THREE, against a commitment of 80%

· 38% of originated BBC THREE programmes will be Music & Arts, Education and News & Current Affairs, against a commitment of 33%

· 35% of broadcast hours are Music & Arts, Education and News & Current Affairs, against a commitment of 15%

· 40% of new programming comes from the independent sector, against a commitment of 25%

· 6% of programming is acquired, against a commitment of no more than 10 per cent

Notes to Editors

· BBC THREE will launch with an evening's simulcast on BBC TWO on 9 February 2003.

· For the first three weeks of launch, BBC ONE will showcase the very best of BBC THREE programming late night on selected evenings. Post launch period, BBC ONE will then continue to showcase the best of BBC THREE one night a week late night all year round.

· The channel will broadcast from 7.00pm until 4.00am each day.

· EastEnders, which remains in its usual slot on BBC ONE, will premiere each episode for a two week period on BBC THREE for launch. It will then revert to the narrative repeat transmission pattern that has played out on BBC Choice.

· BBC THREE joins BBC ONE, BBC TWO, BBC FOUR, CBBC and CBeebies as part of the BBC's portfolio of television channels.

· BBC THREE, and the other BBC digital channels, will be available free-to-air on digital satellite, cable and the new digital terrestrial platform Freeview.

· The proposals for BBC THREE were approved by the DCMS on 17 September 2002.

· Pictures are available, for media use only, via the BBC Press Office.

The BBC THREE press pack is available here, in PDF format, as a complete pack or by genres. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.

Full BBC THREE press pack (633 KB)

Introduction (21 KB)

Drama (62 KB)

Entertainment (66 KB)

Celebrity Access Documentaries (10 KB)

Factual, News and Current Affairs (116 KB)

Science, Music and Arts (87 KB)

Animation (40 KB)

Get sneak previews and go behind the scenes with our exclusive video clips. For help and advice on downloading these clips see the BBC Audio Visual help page.

Burn It - Watch clip >>>

Body Hits - Watch clip >>>

Dreamspaces - Watch clip >>>

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BBC THREE announces distinctive News and Current Affairs programmes for the under 35s (23.01.03)

BBC ONE and BBC TWO lend support to launch of BBC THREE (07.01.03)

Stuart Murphy named first controller of BBC THREE (12.12.02)

BBC THREE to launch on 9 February 2003 (19.11.02)

BBC unveils new logo for BBC THREE (16.10.02)

BBC welcomes approval for BBC THREE (17.09.02)

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, as well as six BBC radio networks.

The soon to launch BBC THREE will become available as it goes on air.



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