BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 10 February, 2003, 19:48 GMT
BBC praises 'great' Three launch
Comedian Steve Coogan as Pauline and Paul Calf
Steve Coogan's Paul and Pauline Calf featured
BBC Three controller Stuart Murphy is "really pleased" with the first night of his channel, which launched on Sunday.

The new service hit a peak of 270,000 for comedy Paul and Pauline Calf's Cheese and... with Steve Coogan.

Two hours of BBC Three programming were shown on terrestrial channel BBC Two, and got ratings of 2.1 million.

"We're really pleased with the launch night of BBC Three," said Mr Murphy.

"It had a mix of genres, including news, animation, science, live entertainment, live music, new British drama and new British comedy.

"It is great that so many BBC Two viewers had the chance to sample it and I feel this is a good base from which BBC Three can grow.

Stuart Murphy
Stuart Murphy is the BBC's youngest controller
"BBC Three is in it for the long game, nurturing new talent and new ideas," Mr Murphy said.

A spokeswoman for the channel said: "We think the success of the channel isn't based on ratings alone, or on one night's output."

BBC Choice, the service's predecessor, was averaging 60,000 viewers each evening last year.

Government review

BBC Three replaced BBC Choice, but did not get the go-ahead until Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell agreed it was "distinctive" enough.

She rejected the channel's first application for a digital licence, but accepted the second last September.

The government will review the channel again in 2004 to make sure it is keeping to its brief.

Part of the channel's remit is to meet certain minimum levels of arts, current affairs, business and religious programming.

BBC Three logo
BBC Three is the last of the BBC's digital channels to launch
Its current affairs include 60 Seconds, an hourly news bulletin that delivers five news stories in one minute.

It will also feature entertainment programmes such as Celebdaq, an interactive show where viewers buy and sell celebrities based on how many column inches they generate in the week's news.

BBC Three joins BBC Four, the arts and culture channel launched last March, in the corporation's digital line-up.

At least one million viewers have watched BBC Four each week since it began, with the figure rising to 1.8 million in the week after Christmas.


BBC Three debut

YOUR VIEWS

WEBSITES
See also:

10 Feb 03 | Entertainment
07 Jan 03 | Entertainment
Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes