Rebooted BBC Three Channel Announces Brand New Shows

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BBC Three channel is returning to linear TV in February – and to mark its return, three new TV shows that will air on the new channel have been announced today.

Among them – a unique UK VS The World edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a true-crime series that follows a Canadian serial killer, and a 10-part series that follows the staff of an airline in Scotland.

Once BBC Three goes live in early February, shows will premiere on the linear channel, and will be made available for catch-up and streaming on BBC iPlayer.

BBC Three logo

BBC Three started its life as a youth-focused linear TV channel back in 2003. In 2016, it turned into a streaming-only channel, and now – following Ofcom’s approval last month – it’s returning to linear TV, and will be available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin.

The channel will be targeting viewers aged 16-34 who – according to the BBC, at least – don’t typically watch TV online.

The channel’s EPG numbers will be confirmed at a later date, but the BBC proposed for it to be on Freeview Channel 24, Freesat Channel 10, Sky Channel 15, and Virgin Media Channel 8, along with BBC iPlayer.

BBC Three on iPlayer
BBC Three on iPlayer

Today, the BBC announced three original commissions that are expected to air on the renewed channel:

RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Versus The World

Since its premiere in 2009, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become an international sensation, with multiple international versions and spinoffs, and a very popular UK version.

Until now, Drag Race episodes have aired either on the BBC, or on the producers’ own streaming channel, WOW Presents Plus.

WOW Presents Plus
Photo: World of Wonder

For BBC Three, and in a global first, RuPaul takes Drag Race UK on to the next level of competition as he opens up the battle to Drag Race queens from around the world.

Nine international members of RuPaul’s Drag Race Royal alumni will battle it out for the crown in the brand new series: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus The World.

With the UK as the host nation, for the first time in Drag Race Herstory, renowned queens from different franchises and cultures will compete in an international arena showcasing their country’s finest drag in their bid to become the ultimate Drag Race Superstar.

Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, Alan Carr and a sparkling array of superstar guest judges will join RuPaul to help him decide… 

The series will begin during BBC Three’s launch night on television and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Santa Claus the Serial Killer

A true-crime series with 6 30-minute episodes.

British journalist Mobeen Azhar travels to Toronto, Canada, to explore the case of a serial killer which has thrown themes of race, faith, culture and sexuality into sharp focus.

It was nearly three years ago, when a shocking discovery was made in the back garden of a quaint house in suburban Toronto.

Hidden within plant pots were the body parts of seven men. An eighth man was found buried close by. The person responsible for these murders? The unsuspecting gardener: Bruce McArthur.

McArthur, who was also a shopping mall Santa Claus, confessed to eight counts of murder in and around the Gay Village district of Toronto. His guilty plea, which saw him given eight concurrent life sentences, meant that he avoided a lengthy trial leaving many questions unanswered.

Mobeen Azhar, who won an RTS Award for his previous series, Hometown: A Killing, heads to Toronto to spend time with local communities to find out more in a very personal quest to uncover the real story behind this notorious murder case.

Flight Club

BBC Three, BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland have announced a new 10-episode series commission in response to the launch of a new, creative partnership for local production companies.

The scheme invited local Scottish Independent production companies to pitch innovative, factual entertainment format ideas that reflect the life experiences of 16-24 year olds with the promise of a guaranteed series commission.

In Flight Club, Mentorn Scotland will take the audience on a journey across Scotland and beyond with their access-all-areas observational series looking under the wings and inside the lives of those working for a busy airline.

Loganair airplane
Photo: Deposit Photos / OllyH

It follows the young staff and crew of Loganair as they lift the lid on what a career high in the clouds is all about. It’s an aspirational series that will show that there is more to the job than just flying passengers from A to B.

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