Opinion: Finn Marsden

BBC Three: Shantay You Stay

The cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity, and the gumption...

After leaving us lonely and in-need six years ago, BBC Three is finally returning to our television screens in the very near future.

Image: BBC from Wikimedia Commons

The decision to cut the channel from terrestrial broadcasting was made in 2015 after the BBC reported that they could save £30 million a year by making it a streaming-only service.

However, the success of shows like Fleabag, Killing Eve, and Normal People has boosted the credibility of the channel to earn its rightful place back on our TV boxes.

The BBC obviously still has budgets to keep to, so of course sacrifices must be made, but who you ask? Why the children of course, who will now be subjected to two hours less CBBC per day with a new closing time of 7 pm.

The content of BBC Three continues to hit that sweet spot that makes it resonate so well with young adults, with programs like Chris Hughes' Me, My Brother and Our Balls, which gives a young person’s outlook on the devastation that prostate cancer can cause whilst brilliantly retaining that sense of immature brotherly connection.

The creativity, diversity, and prevalence of the channel has never been more ready to be placed back into the limelight, so let’s take a look back at some of the best shows to come through BBC Three.

5. What We Do in the Shadows (2019 - current)

This show is purely ridiculous. Based on Taiki Waititi’s movie of the same name, the program follows the everyday life of three vampires, played by Fonejacker’s Kayvan Novak, The IT Crowd’s Matt Berry, and Stath Let’s Flat’s Natasia Demetriou, attempting to take over America.

Their attempts are pretty lacklustre, however, and instead, we see them spend most of their time acclimatising to the lives of modern Americans in a comedically disastrous way, with outdated fashion statements and the age-old annoyance of a werewolf peeing on your topiary of the female anatomy.

4. Gavin & Stacey (2007-2008)

“Oi, I won’t lie to you”, this is one of the best TV programs ever created. Its storyline is so simple - girl meets boy, they have their rough patches but all works out well in the end - but the characters really are what make it.

From gossip-loving Pam, who we all know the real-life version of, to the ever-surprising inspiration that is Nessa. If you’ve never watched this program, someone will have told you that you’re missing out, so start listening! Maybe you can work out what happened on the fishing trip...

3. I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

This is a rogue choice but this show was seriously underrated. A reality TV game show, like Love Island, but instead of surviving the onslaught of cringe chat-up lines you’re surviving a zombie apocalypse.

The contestants lived on a giant set for six months surrounded by hundreds of seriously talented actors posing as zombies, where they’d have to attempt to complete challenges to gather food and fuel.

Some moments felt weird, like actual contestants becoming zombies and then casually turning up throughout the rest of the series, but apart from that it was a great idea for a show that fell victim to the channel being axed later that year.

2. This Country (2017-2020)

If you’re from the country, or you know anyone from the country, you’ll know that this program is the perfect observation with a little tiny bit of exaggeration sprinkled on top.

The mockumentary follows the day-to-day life of Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe, played by Daisy May Cooper and her brother Charlie Cooper, respectively, living in the Cotswolds.

It’s a perfectly hilarious depiction of what being young in a rural area feels like with the added nostalgia of things like the village fête and that local train station that serves three people a day. The show went on to win a well-deserved BAFTA in 2019 for its sensational writing.

1. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (2019 - current)

With the current series away to play out into a very exciting final, there was no way that this couldn’t be included. Drag Race has brought something to British televisions that most people in the general public would term as ‘different’, but has taught us to celebrate those differences and love them.

Full of cheesy messages of positivity, every innuendo that has ever existed, and some of the biggest icons of our generation, it's a real-good feel-good program that is the highlight of many people’s week.

So, the question remains, what new content will we see when the channel returns? For the time being, that excitement is completely up to your imaginations.