Bad Education has been a breath of fresh air for BBC Three. The cracking Jack Whitehall staring comedy has been a respite from the Seth MacFarlane cartoon comedies that the channel has become dependent on.
With Bad Education finishing up tonight on BBC Three, here at FemaleFirst we’ve decided to have a look at the real success stories of the BBC’s somewhat maligned channel over the years.
Like it or not (and towards the end of its life, not many still did) Little Britain was an enormous comedy hit, launching the show’s characters and creators into the public conscious.
The sketch show was one of BBC Three’s first major successes, becoming a massive breakout hit with it’s larger than life characters and daring humour and showed how BBC Three could be used as an experimental platform for comedy.
It was creators and stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas’s launch pad to stardom, instantly propelling the duo right into the heart of the media gaze. The show was later moved to BBC One, although it’s popularity soon dropped after the first couple of series, as the public quickly became bored of the same characters, pulling out the same jokes time after time.
While the duo tried to repeat the trick with Come Fly With Me, which also aired on BBC3, that show never obtained anything like the zeitgeist that surrounded Little Britain at the height of its powers.
Gavin and Stacey
Most sitcoms have the element of romance bubbling underneath. In Gavin and Stacey, the romance was the comedy.
Focusing on a love affair from beginning to marriage, Gavin and Stacey was a fantastically cheery and unpretentious comedy show, and the absolute perfect antidote to a bad day.
The brain child of cast members Ruth Jones and James Corden, the show became the single most nominated show at the 2007 British Comedy Awards, and went on to collect a whole heap of awards during its three series run, including a BAFTA, a National TV Award and two British Comedy Awards.
One of the BBC’s finest comedies over the last few years, Gavin and Stacey launched the career of both Ruth Jones and James Corden as well as becoming the channel’s most critical acclaimed product and one of the biggest success stories from BBC Three’s past.
Russell Howard’s Good News
Taking a comedian off a panel show and giving them their own screen time is a risky business. But for every Frankie Boyle, there’s a Russell Howard, how’s gone from strength to strength after he was allowed by BBC Three to spread his wings outside of Mock The Week.
The show has an increadibly simple basis, Russell simply looks through the news of the week, poking as much fun as he possibly can at it along the way. It’s bread and butter for any stand-up, but the current affairs slant gives the show a great hook, with Howard’s easy, self-effacing humour being ample reward for being lured in.
Having now finished its sixth series, there’s no sign of the show going away any time soon.
The show may have been simply dismissed as Doctor Who with swearing and sex, but Torchwood quickly developed into its own identity and became a real fan favourite.
Focussing on Doctor Who character Captain Jack’s adventures outside of the Tardis, the show was a great success, successfully creating a more adult focussed show than Doctor Who could be, without losing any of the parent show’s charm.
Easily BBC Three’s biggest gun through its two years on the channel, Torchwood
The show later moved to BBC One and changed from the regular format to a mini-series format of five episodes shown on consecutive days in the shape of ‘Children of Earth’ with last year’s fourth series also debuting on the Beeb’s premier channel.
Filling in BBC Three’s sci-fi whole following the departure of Torchwood, Being Human quickly became the channel’s biggest player throughout its life, constantly drawing in some of the strongest ratings for the channel.
Based on the genius premise of a werewolf, a vampire and ghost all living in a house in Bristol, Being Human stands as one of, if not the best show to have been produced by the fledgling channel so far.
The central trio are the key to this. Empathetic and relatable, their supernatural circumstances are a constant issue made somehow relatable by the shows brilliant team of writers. That it never feels overly cheesy, despite the low budgets is a real mark of quality.
As the show now enters a new era with a completely new cast, it’ll be interesting to see if BBC Three’s reigning MVP can keep up the good work.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith