BBC Three’s potential return as linear channel ‘early decision’ for new BBC boss

Choosing whether or not BBC Three should return as a linear TV channel is one of the “early decisions” facing the corporation’s incoming director-general, the controller of the channel has said.

BBC Three moved online in 2016 but it has previously been reported that the channel may return to its original TV format.

The channel has played host to a string of hit shows including Normal People, Fleabag and Killing Eve.

Normal People
Normal People

Fiona Campbell, who is the controller of the channel, told the Edinburgh TV Festival: “Obviously there’s a new director-general about to start and as the annual plan said, that is something the corporation has got under active consideration.

“He’s obviously going to have that on his list of early decisions.”

She added: “I would say anything that gives a boost to BBC Three content which is trying to reflect lives across the UK is obviously a good thing.

“The corporation has got quite significant savings to make across the piece, so there’s a bigger picture in which it has to be weighed within.”

Successful BBC Three content also performs well on the broadcaster’s television channels, she added.

BBC director general
BBC director general

“When you see something doing well, you have got to think, ‘How can we make it do even better?'” Ms Campbell said.

Tim Davie is set to take over from Tony Hall as director-general next month.

Ms Campbell also defended a comedy sketch by Famalam which was criticised by some for invoking stereotypes of Jamaican people.

A clip posted on social media showed cast members of the BBC Three show taking part in a Jamaican version of the quiz show Countdown.

Ms Campbell said the sketch was not “malicious”, adding: “We stand by the creator’s brand of humour.”

She told the Edinburgh TV Festival: “Famalam is now in its third series and it is very successful.

“It is not malicious humour and I think if you followed on social, the creators themselves said they are poking fun at all stereotypes.

“There isn’t malice in the type of content.”

BBC Three has also announced it has commissioned a new programme featuring reality star Joey Essex.

MTV Video Music Awards 2019 – Arrivals – New Jersey
MTV Video Music Awards 2019 – Arrivals – New Jersey

Joey Essex: Who Am I? will see him discuss his experience of his mother dying when he was 10-years-old and the long-term impacts it has had on his life.

The channel has also commissioned Meet The Khans: Big In Bolton, which will feature boxer Amir Khan and his wife Faryal Makhdoom.

The programme will look at the young couple’s family life and the pressures of living in the media spotlight.

Dancing and dating show Dance Crush will also be coming to BBC Three.

Single professional dancers and novices will perform in an attempt to score a date and avoid elimination from the show.