Mar 052014

BBC Three axe announcement to be made on Thursday

The BBC is expected to make an announcement regarding the future of BBC Three on Thursday (March 6), it has been revealed.

The closure of BBC3 is to be proposed by the BBC director general, Tony Hall, as part of a plan to save £100m a year.

His decision also signals a reprieve for its sister channel, the arts and culture specialist BBC4, which has faced calls for it to be axed and merged into BBC2 – although it is not clear if the channels will subsequently be renumbered.

An announcement is expected as early as Thursday when the BBC will confirm that BBC3 will close and become a wholly online channel.

BBC3 shows will be available only through the iPlayer rather than a traditional TV channel.

However, Hall’s plans still have to be approved by the BBC Trust, which four years ago overturned former director general Mark Thompson’s plan to shut BBC Radio 6 Music following a concerted protest from listeners

BBC Three started broadcasting in 2003, and has launched shows such as Bad Education, Little Britain, Torchwood, Being Human and Gavin & Stacey.