In light of the BBC’s controversial decision to drop BBC Three from its schedules, the more conservative BBC Four have announced plans to capitalise on the decision by adopting a ‘fresher and cooler approach’ to its current offerings. The corporation’s flagship youth channel, which has introduced the world to memorable hits, such as ‘Gavin & Stacey’, ‘Little Britain’ and ‘Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum’, has an audience share of 1.5%, meaning some nine-million regular weekly viewers will soon be heading for a new channel to satisfy their entertainment needs.
‘We want a piece of that pie’, said BBC Four producer, Stephen Franklin. ‘Our current license requires us to broadcast at least 110-hours of new arts and factual programmes, so now that there’s millions of youngsters floating about with nothing to watch, we’ll just adapt our current offerings to suit a younger audience, you get me?’
He continued: ‘ For example, tomorrow we’re due to air, ‘The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank’, but we could just replace that with something like, ‘Young Homeless Midgets with Nick Grimshaw’, or something. We’ll still be fulfilling the licensing requirements and we’ll get a shit load of new viewers’.
BBC bosses, who’ve received heavy criticism from celebrities like Matt Lucas, Jack Whitehall and Greg James, have defended the decision, stating that huge cuts ‘simply have to be made’ if a saving target of £100m is to be met by 2016. ‘It’s a very unfortunate that we have to remove a popular channel from the schedules, but we’re confident that our colleagues at BBC Four are up to the task of offering the British youth some fresh and relevant TV to watch’, said director-general Tony Hall today. ‘The Beeb can still “dig it”. They do still say that, don’t they?’
BBC Four are yet to reveal their complete list of new programmes, but have hinted that current popular shows like ‘The Golden Age of Steam Railways’, could be replaced with ‘Pimp My Ride UK’, and ‘Horizon’ could make way for ‘Wasted: Ibiza’. Franklin added: ‘Most of our new shows will have new presenters. We’re in talks with the likes of Justin Lee Collins, who has already agreed to host, act, present, write, direct and produce practically everything – that’s what all the kids want, isn’t it? Everybody loves Justin Lee Collins’.