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Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 20:42 GMT
BBC Three: Your views
3 Non-Blondes
BBC Three hopes to be both intelligent and irreverent
BBC Three is the new digital television channel aimed at those in their 20s and 30s, which aims to offer a mixed schedule of quality British programmes.

Launch programmes on 9 February include 30-something drama Burn It, This Is Dom Joly and the first all-girl hidden camera comedy show, 3 Non-Blondes.

"BBC Three will be packed full of modern, radical, imaginative and funny British shows," says Stuart Murphy, the channel's controller.

But what did you think of the launch night shows? Were you impressed?

This discussion is now closed but you can read your comments below.

JV Tonight was ok but Johnny will never be Letterman, no matter how hard he tries. Little Britain and Monkey Dust were the highlights for me, the latter being the most original and daring piece of comedy since Chris Morris' 'Jam'.
John, UK

I'm in the age group but I just don't get this inane sort of comedy

Mat Bettinson, UK
Just watched the BBC Three preview on BBC Two, and I'm off to buy a freeview box! The potential within the BBC to provide the programming the target audience wants is there for all to see. Reading the comments of the typical Daily Mail readers above shows the lack of understanding or thought for this channel. If they don't like it, dont watch! I welcome a channel that adds to the BBC's line-up, if there is one missing, it is a dedicated sports channel!
jarek, London

Well I'm in the age group but I just don't get this inane sort of comedy. I'd just as soon as turn over to UK Gold to catch some stuff from back when Britain was funny.
Mat Bettinson, UK

I notice very little difference between BBC Three and BBC Choice. We have Liquid News (yawn), Re:covered (big yawn) and Johnny Vaughan (major yawn). Only Dom Joly and Steve Coogan saved the night, I also don't believe Johnny Vaughan when he says this will be a typical night on BBC Three. The previous few days of BBC Choice have been painfully absent of programming. Oh and I preferred the previous format of 60 seconds, the graphic design now is bland.
Giles, UK

Does this mean the BBC is going to start doing funny comedy for the first time in 10 years? If not, I'll just have to stick with Channel 4.
Ben Woodhouse, england

As a viewer looking for a reason to go digital I found the two hour slot on BBC2 truly painful to watch. Johnny Vegas was an absolute waste of viewing time as his comments were absolute rubbish. Justin Timberlake in space is in poor taste given the unfortunate rollout of recent events. As a disappointed viewer I won't be rushing to buy a digital receiver if this is the best the channel has to offer.
Peter Murray, England

Personally, I'll be watching BBC 3 on a regular basis. I thought that 3 non-blondes was hilarious! I think people of my generation (18-20) will appreciate this channel more than others.
Daniel, Cardiff, Wales

For the first time I'm glad to be 49. Utter rubbish. BBC get a life and join the real world of comedy
John F, England

After half an hour of Johnny Vegas and Johnny Vaughan droning on about things that just weren't funny (and much channel-hopping afterwards) I thought BBC3 was a goner, but Little Britain came up trumps and proved that this station could be bigger and better and more competitive in the digital arena. Just lose the sad chat show format with non-funny guests
Mark Jordan, England

The BBC can now compete with Sky - let the digital wars begin!

Mike Freedman, UK
I persevered with JV tonight since that's guest-dependent, but a lot of it was what made up BBC Choice. I'll have to watch more late night repeats of the brand new stuff on BBC1 before deciding whether to buy a set top box for both this channel and BBC4.
Flynn, England

Interesting programmes, although many not to my taste, but BBC3 fills the void well. BUT, do we have to keep on being reminded that we're watching three? Not only with constant narrative, but the "BBC Three launch night" up there all the time too! I hope this is removed from films (like BBC4 does), or you'll be without me as a regular viewer.
John Smith, UK

I enjoyed tonights programing sporadically. Everything was going well, then Johnny Vegas came on and made me cry with laughter, the guy deserves a chat show of his own, where he can have a celeb on each night that he can talk at and berate... The 'comedy' this is britain started very poorly and warmed up towards the end, but the george doors guy really is not funny, where are his eyebrows? aaarrrggghhh.
Marcus Evans, England

I am delighted to say that This Is Britain is yet another show that has made a fantastic transition from radio to television - but they were possibly the worst welsh accents I have heard in a long while!
Dave, Wales

After watching the launch night for BBC three on BBC, and I was very impressed. Its nice to see the BBC expanding its channel base, something to give young talent a platform. But I do feel its not really a new channel, just a re-branded BBC Choice, with what sees a bigger budget. But hey, I like it, more please BBC.
Steve, UK

Get rid of the annoying dog up the corner and you may get some viewers, it's worked for Channel 5 that now looks like a proper TV station. In the mean time, I'll give it a miss
keith bonugli, UK

Did anyone find the first couple of hours painful to watch? Johnny Vegas, Appleton ... it doesn't get much better than that does it! And a Liquid News interview with two hollywood actors who couldn't look more disinterested in the whole spectacle! So far, pretty awful, but maybe people like Dom Joly and Steve Coogan can improve things ..
John L, England

Congrats on the birth of what will be an amazing channel. Great British shows, Orange Blobs and all in a friendly format. The BBC can now compete with Sky - let the digital wars begin!
Mike Freedman, UK

I will be watching BBC Three now and then, especially the Wednesday night movies. But I think the BBC got the promotion of the new channel totally wrong, which may have put potential viewers off watching. When I first saw the BBC3 trailer I thought "do the BBC think we're still in the 60s or something?".
Richard, UK

Watched the first few minutes with Vegas and got bored, sorry! hope this isn't a taste of things to come.
Zak, Leicester, UK

Johnny Vegas - painfully bad ...
Graham Freeman, UK

Been watching for the first hour and it looks like it's gonna be an interesting channel to watch. Good mix of programming lined up and I'll be interested to see what becomes of CelebdaqTV.

BBC - bury your head in shame

Stuart, UK

However, surely it would have been better to cut the Justin Timberlake item on "JV Tonight". Dressed in a spacesuit apparently circling the earth outside of a vehicle his first words, in reply to how he feels about the BBC Three launch were, "Yes Johnny, we're totally blown away" - this whole thing seemed entirely pointless and thus came across in bad taste. Chill out BBC Three, you don't have anything to prove.
Bill Compton, England

For the first time in my life I'm glad to be over 40 (I'm 41) because if rubbish like this was targeted at my age group I would be extremely frustrated. Does nobody at the BBC watch programmes like Friends and Frasier? Comedy is meant to be witty not inane.
Brian Sheehan, England

I'm 29 - right in the middle of the target demographic... and I switched over after 10 minutes. Need I say more?
Roger, England

So far... Brilliant! Hope the coming weeks are as good as the launch night.
Dave, UK

I've just watched the first two hours of BBC Three. I was very impressed with what I've seen so fare. I hope it doesn't show the same old repeats after a week like previous channels.
Mike, England

BBC3 on the evidence of the opening night is total unadulterated garbage - BBC bury your head in shame!!
Stuart, UK

What utter rubbish the preview proved! Why can't there be more art and cultural programes, documentaries and decent comedies thrown in? Surely the BBC is suposed to cater for all ages and tastes.
viewer, UK

I just saw BBC Choice, but with a new logo and more "this is important Because We Say So" from the BBC... Stop trying to reinvent and start trying to innovate!
Tom, UK

Looked surprisingly un-rehearsed and for that fact very uncomfortable for all those presenters involved. Would have been better to pre-record with maybe one or two live links! The programme schedule looks very good though, and I look forward to seeing how it progresses.
Don Cochrane, England

Good launch night - and first nights aren't always the best. I look forward to seeing the quality improve as the channel matures, and by tonights show - it will be worth it!
Kevin, Ireland

Seems to be reliant on celebs. A bit like Hello magazine's TV channel. There were occaisional funny moments but most of it was painful and cringe-making.
Robin, UK

I didn't watch BBC Choice because of the permanent on-screen logo and, for the same reason, I won't be watching BBC3. People are smart enough to know what channel they're watching, or they can find out with one press of a button on the remote. These on-screen logos serve only to detract from the viewing experience.
Andrew Smith, Scotland

As a member of BBC Three's target audience I can't say I'm pleased at the way things have turned out. I want to see more choice and more competition, not more excuses to bloat the licence fee further.
Mike Dean, UK

Dom Joly was disappointing ... nothing there that Alan Partridge hasn't done. The 'BBC 3 Launch Night' graphic being constantly on the screen was distracting and pointless. If they think we're too stupid to realise what we're watching then I don't hold much hope for this channel.
D Bowskill, UK

Get rid of that stupid logo. We have EPGs to tell us what we're watching and don't need it burning our eyes for hours on end.
Rob H, Wales

Top stuff, really enjoyable and a marked difference from the old Choice brand.

Shaun, England

I can't help but think that the BBC would do better to spend time and money on the original two channels and bring them up to a decent entertainment level before expanding, it just seems like a waste of time and money and to me, no matter how much the BBC try it will still just provide a source of lukewarm entertainment.
M Sage, England

Lucky you got all that free advertising on BBC1 and BBC2 - shame you couldn't back it up with content worth watching.
David, London

As I fall within the target age group I can honestly say that there is nothing on BBC3 that will tempt me to subscribe to digital. The scheduling and choice of programmes is a major turn off.
Martin Molloy, United Kingdom

Thought the general mix of programmes were good. but was very disappointed with This is Dom Joly. He was one of the funniest people on tv before, but now he is just rude and made me want to cringe.
Benni, Wales, UK

God help us! Apart from Vegas, it was dreadful. Tired and mean comedy which just seems to want to show the worst of Britain today. Is this really the best the BBC can offer?
Lee, UK

Just one thought - get rid of the canned laughter on Little Britain. It makes it sound like a sitcom from the 70s.
Jules Williamson, England

Top stuff, really enjoyable and a marked difference from the old Choice brand. Question to the 'viewer, UK' who wanted more documentaries and art and culture: what channel follows BBC3 in the BBC portfolio?
Shaun, England

Watching paint dry is more fun.
Bez, Wales

Is the BBC going to keep creating ghost channels where Johnny Vaughan can be dumped until his contract runs out?
Pete Fenelon, UK

If there is even the slightest chance of seeing Johnny Vaughan if I turned on BBC3, then I will definitely not be buying a digi-box. Can't the BBC see that he is a total turn-off with no charm whatsoever?

Maybe the BBC will figure out that people might not want to watch comedy 24 hours a day. Some other types of programming may be interesting too you know.

We turned off the launch after 10 minutes.
Matt Wrigglesworth, Whitley, Yorkshire

To the doubters I say it's too early to judge

Siobhan, UK

I think some of the critics here are being a bit harsh. You can't judge a channel's entire output from a mere two hours of programming. I thought it was pretty good.

Burn It is going to be brilliant, as are some of the animated series coming up. I thought the Body Hits programme was excellent - entertaining and perfectly targeted to the audience and very much more interesting and informative than the series Booze with Jeremy Bowen which ran on BBC One.

A lot of thought and energy has gone into coming up with a channel which fits the remit and I think a good job has been done, but viewers will need to give it a chance to bed in a little. And of course, not every programme will appeal to every viewer - our tastes are all different and that is reflected on every channel, not just BBC Three.

For those who want the Arts and heavy duty documentaries - that's what BBC Four is for. My only criticism is that I'm not sure why at the switch over point, the channel numbers were not given for Sky, Freeview or NTL customers.

This would have been a prime opportunity to make viewers familiar with the different channel numbers so they don't have to scroll through dozens of channels, or look the number up. I'm not sure why you didn't do this.

Other than that, to the doubters I say it's too soon to judge. There will be some very high quality programming, give it a bit more of a chance.
Siobhan, UK

It was appalling. It was full of the dross from other stations, people who are talentless and have nothing to offer. It is a complete waste of licence payers money and should be stopped before it is started. And now we find that the licence fee is to go up by 4. For what? To subscribe to more dross? Get a grip.
Corinne Lucas, Britain

I am not in the target age-range for BBC Three, so am unlikely to watch much of it. However, with it's arrival, is it safe to assume that the other BBC channels will transfer their progammes targeted at the same age range to BBC Three and start showing more demanding and stimulating output? Nice thought but why do I doubt it?

One other thought - why not add a BBC soap channel and get rid of the dreadful EastEnders?
Johno, UK

Three will certainly reduce the amount of channel surfing I do. I was very impressed with last night's viewing. One criticism would have to be about Johnny and Dermot. All night they kept referring to the time and the need to move on. I sympathise that there were a lot of live shows but the end result gave the impression of a poorly managed launch.
Stuart Byford, UK

I thought the launch night was pretty good all in all. Some good stuff, some not so good, but come on people give it a chance. Look how long it's taken Five to become a decent TV channel.
Richard, UK

Well done - a station aimed at the 18 to 35 age range. As someone of 46 can I also have my own channel please. I would like one which is funny and professional. Could you avoid showing drunken fat men trying to be funny and shouty cockneys thinking they are David Letterman. Could I also have people who are talented and funny as I think this is something my age group appreciates. Once again well done at targeting this age group - what a shame I am 46 and have an old fashioned desire for quality television. Keep up the good work!
Barry, UK

It will become a huge success as soon as the Beeb realise that Johnny Vaughan has had his day and is just very tiring to watch. He does not say much that is funny, people laugh out of either embarrassment or pity. Love Johnny Vegas though.
David Hopkins, England

It was painful. The newlyweds were obviously mortified by Vegas' comments - he must have ruined their special day. And Vaughan simply isn't funny without Denise by his side. It was their chemistry that made Big Breakfast successful. When are the powers-that-be going to figure that out?

We had to change channels out of sheer embarrassment. We certainly won't be watching BBC Three - and we're right in the middle of your target market. What a load of rubbish.
Kath, England

Why doesn't BBC Three just cancel having guests on Johnny Vaughan's show? After all, he seems to enjoy the sound of his own voice far more than anyone else's.
Guy, UK

Until the powers-that-be decide to remove the permanent on-screen logo, I will avoid BBC Three as much as possible. I do not want my expensive TV set damaged by screen burn. Do they think we're too stupid to know which channel we're watching?

Boring, samey, cringe-making, puerile - and that was just the two Johnnys

Caity, UK

I see that BBC Three already has its critics, but I was pleased with the opening night. At last, a channel that doesn't show non-stop gardening, DIY or 'talent' shows. The highlights were the two Johnny's (now that would be a show), Coogan, Little Britain and Monkey Dust.

If the BBC can keep the line-up fresh and not resort to repeating tired old programmes then they are on to a winner. The very fact that the commercial channels are wailing and gnashing their teeth means they know when they are beaten. Well done BBC. I wish BBC Three all the success it deserves. PS: Change '60 seconds' back please.
Greg, Scotland

BBC3 want to 'incubate the risk gene' they say. OK, so lose the annoying on-screen logo rather than following the herd and we might believe you.

Five dropped theirs recently and I now watch. Until BBC Three does the same I won't be watching.
Dave, England

Great idea having Johnny Vaughan, Steve Coogan and Dom Joly on one channel. I can avoid them all in one go!
Geoff H, UK

Do I have to start watching Eastenders at an earlier time now? Choice was good for the 10 o'clock showing.
Carl Wilkes, UK

Boring, samey, cringe-making, puerile - and that was just the two Johnny's! This channel is just another example of the BBC dumbing down - when will you realise that most people in this country occasionally like to use their brains?!
Caity, UK

I'd rather watch BBC Three than all the American dominated rubbish that Channel Four, E4, Sky One and Paramount give us. Why is American comedy so unfunny? Answers on a postcard to George Bush....
Jonathan Pringle, UK

Excellent. Well worth the licence fee. Keep up the good work. Why are E4 moaning all the time about the BBC targeting their audience. The way I see it is that the BBC provides quality, value and free (licence fee) TV. You have to pay for E4, Sky One etc. So where's the comparison? As for the comments about the on screen logo, well I've only just noticed it. Can't the other viewers concentrate on what's on the screen. Come on, it's not that difficult.
Paul, Leicester,UK

The thing that the BBC, and British television as a whole needs is quality, original music programming aimed at 24-35 year olds. BBC Three would be ideal for this.

The flagship music programmes on the BBC at the moment are TOTP (mainly for teens), TOTP2 (for those over 35 - at least!) and Re:covered (hardly original). The only music show remotely alternative is Later, but this is on too late on a Friday or Saturday night and tends to include more AOR artists.

Bring back the likes of Snub TV or Rapido to highlight some of the great new alternative music out there. No wonder I'm reading about CD sales plummeting when there is such poor coverage on accessible TV to capture peoples' imagination.
Sam Hutchinson, UK

At last a decent, funny, original, and entertaining channel which doesn't require a subscription. After watching the preview I rushed out and bought a freeview box this morning. Well done BBC.
Paul, UK

I only watched the opening couple of hours on BBC Two, but where's the innovation? Why create a new channel to churn out the same old rubbish? "Aimed at those in their 20s and 30s"? I presume that refers to IQ.
Stuart, Aged 28, UK

Basically BBC Three is a new name for BBC Choice. So I don't know what all the fuss is about.
Lisa, England

According to the BBC's own site, digital terrestial broadcasting is unavailable in my part of Derbyshire. So will I be exempt from the 4 increase in the licence fee?
John Rastall, UK

Seems to me to be the same old mundane stuff broadcast by BBC One. Why have we got this channel? I don't have digital but I am not nor never will be inspired to invest unless I have to. And why a low priority for imported drama and comedy? The US shows we receive here put BBC shows to shame, showing them up to be the mediocre superficial gloss that they are. Make some science fiction (Dr Who) and give it a decent slot because I am ready to bury the BBC.
Nigel Rainford, England

Despite living just north of Northampton, we can't get digital TV! So we can now only get half of the BBC output, but we're still going to have our TV licence put up! If you only provide us with half a service, maybe we should only pay half of our licence fee?
David, Northampton, England

Another channel with an on-screen logo is another channel I won't be watching

John, UK

Johnny Vaughan's performance was flat, contrived and predictable. He had all the originality of a brick wall. Johnny Vegas was either drunk, on drugs, in need of counselling or all three. For goodness sake find some talented writers, produce some original comedy and give us value for our increasing licence fee.
Mark, England

Switched on. Then decided to watch some proper TV instead. What a waste of time and effort.
Debby , Surrey, UK

Better than Choice, by far! JV Tonight was sporadically good, Little Britain was excellent. The cartoon was inspired and Dom Joly was about as welcome as a bad odour! Keep up the good work and I may be a dedicated viewer (I am 31 and so in the range).

But get rid of that logo! It is patronising to be told that I cannot remember which channel I am watching. Five got rid and is now a must see channel. Have the courage and do the same (and so says nearly everyone in my office). I wouldn't buy a video with a graphic on it and I don't expect such poor treatment from the BBC! Anyway, keep up the good shows. By the way, the information about men growing breasts was both interesting and terrifying all at the same time.
Jon Litchfield, England

Another channel with an on-screen logo is another channel I won't be watching.
John, UK

Bring back "The RDA" and get rid of the on-screen logo and Three will be worth watching. Johnny Vaughn is overused, you either love or hate him, and if you do hate him, he really spoils the channel.
Mat Overton, Bradford, UK

Johnny Vaughan is BAD, and not in a good way!
Michelle , Ireland

Tuned into BBC Three with great expectations. Swiss Toni was awful, and Johnny Vaughan diabolical! Was Swiss Toni really the way to introduce BBC Three to the nation? I quickly switched channels and was left feeling greatly disappointed.
Steph Grant, England

I am very upset with the BBC. I find it offensive that those of us that can afford digital or Sky television still end up paying for it. It is so frustrating when something good is advertised on TV, then you find out it is on BBC943.

At the moment the BBC shows are second rate compared to the likes of ITV and Channel Four. It seems that the public has no choice but to hand over yet more money to you or face four channels of rubbish.

This isn't about just providing new shows and choices to the public. It is a way of making more money to make more channels full of more weak-plotted rubbish. What is next? Sky-diving with Alan Titchmarsh or bare-knuckle pit-fighting with Anthony Worrell-Thompson?

Why don't you just let Alan Partridge run the BBC with his monkey tennis and inner city sumo wrestling?
Ross Jarrett, England

BBC Three debut


See also:

23 Jan 03 | Entertainment
17 Sep 02 | Entertainment
07 Jan 03 | Entertainment
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