The BBC has announced that they are hoping to bring back BBC Three as a regular TV channel, almost four years since it moved to online only. The channel left linear television in 2016 to save £30m but the success of Fleabag and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has led to a re-evaluation of their funding model.
To celebrate this potential rebirth, we have narrowed down five of the best shows from BBC Three.
BAD EDUCATION (2012 – 2014)
The series stars Jack Whitehall as a posh and freshly graduated young teacher – perhaps one of the worst teachers ever – at the fictional Abbey Grove School, in Hertfordshire. Bad Education follows him as he tries to impress his crush and turns to his mismatched class for help. It’s a slice of life comedy that shows where British banter is at its best and worst: in schools.
RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE UK (2019 – PRESENT)
Based on the US version, RuPaul makes the trip across the pond to find the UK’s first drag superstar. It’s reality TV as its trashiest but most entertaining as drag queens battle it out in a range of challenges to be number one. With comedic judges such as Alan Carr and Graham Norton, it’s the perfect watch for those wanting a laugh thrown in with some glitz, glamour and drama.
GAVIN & STACEY (2007 – 2019)
A tale of two families – one from Essex and one from Wales – as Gavin and Stacey fall in love and deal with their different family dynamics. It’s a show about an ordinary couple with real issues, but mixes in British humour to soften the blow. It also has some of the most quotable lines and the funniest characters – but be prepared to get emotional with the sweet and sombre moments.
JA’MIE: PRIVATE SCHOOL GIRL (2013)
This Australian sitcom perfectly nails the self-obsessed and delusional teenage girls that most encounter at school – and it’s from a man in drag. The mockumentary follows the school’s captain, Ja’mie, during the last few months of high school, showing how cruel kids can be – obviously with ample amounts of comedy thrown in. It walks the fine line between hilarious and cringe, but it encapsulates creator Chris Lilley’s signature style: Aussie humour at its most bold.
FLEABAG (2016 – 2019)
It wouldn’t be a top list of BBC Three shows without mentioning award-winning tragicomedy series Fleabag. Seamlessly mixing dark drama with brilliant humour, the show follows a young woman trying to cope with life in London while dealing with a recent tragedy. Although very much focused on the main character, Fleabag herself, the story covers a broad subject matter than many people can relate to, ranging from sex and love to being broke, dysfunctional families and suicide. Written and starring the amazing Phoebe Waller-Bridge, it’s devastating and hilarious all at once.