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TV REVIEW: BBC3 to go off-air, Chris Lilley and Crufts

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Reviewer James Waller-Davies takes a look at the latest offerings on the box.

The week’s television news has been dominated by the announcement to take BBC3 off air and move it to online only. The BBC has decided that switching off BBC3 is the best way to save £100 million.

BBC3’s target audience is the 16-34 year old age group, so it’s highly likely that many readers may never have watched it. The problem for the BBC is that not enough 16-34 year olds have been watching the station either.

Once again, I have turned to social media to see what readers think and it’s clear the BBC is underestimating its audience. The 16-34 audience are not the dumbed-down viewers the controllers of BBC3 seem to think. They are highly discriminating and quality driven.

Luke (via Facebook) slated BBC3’s ‘trashy reality programming’ and thought BBC4 ‘better in every way’. Heather (via Twitter) thought BBC3 should be dumped all together and criticised the poor quality of commissioned programmes. The BBC should ‘concentrate on new, worthwhile and profitable programming,’ she tweeted.

There was some support for programmes such as Bad Education, Jack Whitehall’s school-based comedy. Sarah (via Facebook) also noted that other quality programmes such as Being Human and Gavin and Stacy began on BBC3. She also praised the station’s ground-breaking documentaries into issues such as mental health and young people.

Rather than ditching BBC3, perhaps the BBC should consider paying the same care and attention to its young person’s programming that is does for other audiences.

Pushing the reality TV envelope to near breaking point is Ja’mie: Private School Girl (BBC3). The heavily criticised mock-reality comedy may have pushed Chris Lilley’s career to breaking point too. There’s only so much can be taken of a 39-year-old male passing himself off as a teenage girl.

The previous incarnation, Summer Heights High, was innovative and had a certain novelty value. Ja’mie has been dumped in America and is likely to be in the UK too. Only BBC3’s poor commissioning has been willing to give it a home.

Liza Tarbuck has teamed up with television’s go-to animal presenter Clare Balding for this year’s Crufts (Channel 4). The nation’s annual competition to find the most obscure dog breed with the most ridiculous name continues all weekend.

Competition is fierce, especially after the standard set last year when Soletrader Peek A Boo Jilly, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, was named top dog.

Balding has been praising the benefits of a well-groomed eyebrow or hand-manicured earlobe. Most of us dog owners are happy with a pooch that comes back most of the time when called and doesn’t sick up on the carpet the dead pheasant it’s eaten.

Jip, the Heinz 57 Farm-dog from Wrangle, failed to make the finals.

 

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