The best and worst BBC Three shows in the channel's history
The best shows in BBC Three's history
Early this morning, long after most of us were in bed and way before any sensible human being got out of it, the BBC flicked the switch and BBC Three went dark, never to see the broadcast light of day again.
From now on BBC Three will be a revised online-only offering, still focused on delivering content aimed at a younger demographic than its other channels, and with a few new features.
It's going to produce more lightweight, short-form content for its 16-34 age-range, aiming at an audience used to consuming its media online. That does mean it's going directly up against heavyweights like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat on the snack-video front.
But over its 13-year existence BBC Three has generated quite an impressive heritage of successful programming, and it remains committed to keep on creating quality long-form content too. From classics like Being Human to The Mighty Boosh to Little Britain, BBC Three gave air to great shows that wouldn't have gotten broadcast time anywhere else.
Here are some of our favourite BBC Three shows. Which are yours?
Gavin and Stacey
The genuinely sweet comic romance-across-the-borders was one of BBC Three's biggest ever shows. The tale of Essex boy, Gavin, and valleys girl, Stacey, was only part of its charm, with both sides of the friends and family divide weighing in with the laughs. Created by Late Late Show host, James Corden and the excellent Ruth Jones, Gavin and Stacey may only have lasted 20 episodes, but they will go down as some of the channel's finest.
This supernatural drama centred around a spooky flat-share in Bristol between Lenora Crichlow's reluctant ghost, Aidan Turner's vampire and Russell Tovey's werewolf. At times darkly comic and at others just plain dark, Being Human has been one of BBC Three's most successful dramas, even getting a US retelling.
Him and Her
Russell Tovey returns again as the titular him to Sarah Solemani's her in this gentle, realistic warts-and-all comedy. It's as unromantic as a couple's comedy can get, detailing all the mundanity of a comfortable, loving relationship between two people in their early 20's and all the more groundbreaking because of it.
In the Flesh
BBC Three created its fair share of supernatural dramas, between Being Human, The Fades and In The Flesh. In a switch on the traditional Living/Walking Dead zombie apocalypse trope In The Flesh is set after the zombie outbreak has been contained and a 'cure' found. It centres around partially dead Keiran returning to his small Lancashire home town after his rehabilitation is complete.
Another of BBC Three's mighty comic exports. The Walliams and Lucas run show is a catchphrase-spawning sketch comedy like few others; more League of Gentlemen than Fast Show, but no less quickfire. It lost some of its creativity when it moved to BBC One, but that always-outstanding Tom Baker narration is an ever-present joy.
The Mighty Boosh
There was pretty much no way The Mighty Boosh could have found itself anywhere else other than on BBC Three. The unashamedly weird, surreal world created by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding found its feet on the radio, but found a huge cult following when it made the transition to the television. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
Don't Tell the Bride
This is car-crash TV at its most romantic, where somehow the car-crash is always avoided at the last minute. And no one dies. The simple premise is that the groom is given a set amount of cash and four weeks to plan his wedding, completely without the involvement of the bride, but with a fair amount of involvement from the producers to make sure there is always the potential for disaster. Guilty pleasure indeed, but the BBC Three episodes were the most compulsive.
Another comedy that would likely never have found a home were it not for BBC Three, and without Nighty Night we might not have creator Julia Davis going on to create the brilliant Hunderby. It's a darkly comic sitcom starring Davis as the sociopathic Jill Tyrell, a beautician with a terminally ill husband and a thick murderous streak...
BBC Three wasn't all about kooky comedies and car-crash TV (though sometimes it literally was with Barely Legal Drivers…), it also created its fair share of documentaries, from Reggie Yates' insightful look at South Africa to Stacey Dooley's wide-eyed investigations. Our War was one of its most bold, poignant, sometimes harrowing documentaries. Much of the footage from the programme made around the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan was shot by the soldiers themselves, making it even more personal.
This animated sketch show was one of from the early days of BBC Three, and was one of the darkest, most subversive animations on British TV. Each episode featured animations from different companies, but all with the writing of the woefully-shortlived Harry Thompson and Shaun Pye. Some of it makes for uncomfortable viewing, in a similar way to Chris Morris' Jam on Channel 4.
And the worst...
BBC Three may have given us some comedy classics and insightful documentaries but it also delivered its share of utter dross too. The prime candidate has to be the awful Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, a show which became utterly synonymous with the channel's worst lowest-common-denominator offerings.
But who could forget the frightening glimpse into the depths of blinkered vanity with Snog, Marry, Avoid or hardman Danny Dyer's I Believe in UFOs. Then there was My Life as an Animal where Z-list 'celebrities' lived four days as a particular animal, which sounds either like something from Time Trumpet or a show idea straight from Alan Partridge's dictaphone.
And, of course, there was F*** Off! I'm A Hairy Woman!