Advertisement

BBC Three is back: How you can watch it and what not to miss

BBC Three is back on TV. (BBC)
BBC Three is back on TV. (BBC)

BBC Three returns to TV screens today after six years as an online-only channel.

The channel is set for a triumphant revival with a huge slate of new shows and old favourites, championing emerging talent as well as established stars.

Here's all you need to know about the return of BBC Three and what not to miss.

How can I watch BBC Three?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 09:00:00 on 17/01/2022 - Programme Name: RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs The World - TX: n/a - Episode: RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs The World - generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 09:00 HRS ON MONDAY 17TH JANUARY 2022** Pangina Heals, Jujubee, Jimbo, Cheryl Hole, Blu Hydrangea, Baga Chipz, Mo Heart, Janey Jacke, Lemon - (C) World of Wonder - Photographer: Guy Levy
'Drag Race' returns with an international contest. (World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Read more: BBC Three's best shows over the years

BBC Three is back on your TV as of tonight (Tuesday, 1 February) at 7pm.

It will broadcast every evening from the same time, just as it did when first on-air, although you may need to retune your set-top box to see BBC Three in your channels list.

Viewers can also find BBC Three live broadcasts through iPlayer, as with the BBC's other channels.

Why has BBC Three been off air for six years?

Read more: What does BBC Three's return mean for battle between linear and streaming TV?

The youth-focussed arm of BBC TV first launched in 2003 and became a natural home for irreverent comedy and entertainment, with many of its biggest hits making the leap onto BBC One and Two.

However, in 2016 it was announced that the channel would cease TV broadcasting and would go online only under a section on BBC streaming service iPlayer as part of cost-cutting for the corporation.

It was always a controversial move, especially as BBC Three continued to launch some of the broadcaster's most popular shows, and now six years on the decision has been reversed - reinstating Three as a channel in its own right.

BBC Three controller Fiona Campbell said at its relaunch: "I want BBC Three to look and sound different to anywhere else and I want to shout the loudest in every way we can that the BBC is there for you no matter where you are from and who you are."

Which are the must-see shows on BBC Three?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:01:00 on 31/01/2022 - Programme Name: Life and Death in the Warehouse  - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *First Look* Megan Roberts (AIMEE-FFION EDWARDS), Alys Morgan (POPPY LEE FRIAR) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Simon Ridgway
'Life and Death in the Warehouse' tells the story of distribution centre workers. (BBC/Simon Ridgway)

Read more: Everything new streaming on Netflix this February

As you'd expect, with the channel's relaunch comes plenty of fresh content to celebrate being back on air.

Kicking things off on Tuesday is a new series of Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race UK vs The World.

BBC Three has always been known for its strong comedy commissioning and it returns with new gym-based sitcom about toxic masculinity, Peacock.

Look out for innovative series Mood about an aspiring rapper, a part-musical with her story told through her songs.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 31/01/2022 - Programme Name: Hungry For It - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Kayla Greer, Stacey Dooley, Big Zuu - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jack Barnes
Stacey Dooley presents cooking contest 'Hungry For It'. (BBC/Jack Barnes)

From the BAFTA-winning team behind Killed By My Debt and Murdered by My Father comes Life and Death in the Warehouse, a drama based on real-life accounts of people working in warehouse distribution centres and the impossible pressures they face.

BBC Three has also gone heavy on the reality and entertainment front, with dating series Love in the Flesh presented by Zara McDermott, Stacey Dooley hosting cookery contest Hungry For It, and Clara Amfo following wannabe streetwear brand moguls fighting it out for success in The Drop.

Programme Name: The Fast and The Farmerish - TX: n/a - Episode: The Fast and The Farmerish - England Heat (No. 1) - Picture Shows: English Teams- Checkshirt Choppers and Diva Drivers  - (C) Stephen Davison / Pacemaker Press - Photographer: Stephen Davison
Tractor teams go head to head in 'The Fast and the Farmer-ish'. (Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press)

Gassed Up sees presenter Mist take on celebrities in a series of high-octane challenges on the track, while in The Fast and the Farmer-ish teams of young farmers go head to head with their souped-up tractors.

Also coming up on the channel are second series of dating show I Like The Way U Move and romcom Starstruck.

Which TV shows is BBC Three famous for?

Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in 'Fleabag'. (Credit: BBC)
Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in 'Fleabag'. (Credit: BBC)

Some of the BBC's biggest shows started life on the channel, including sitcoms Gavin & Stacey, Bad Education and Him & Her, as well as Being Human.

It also launched Stacey Dooley's career with the documentary Blood, Sweat and T-shirts, as well as some of her early presenting work.

During its time online, notable BBC Three shows included Fleabag, Normal People, Killing Eve and RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

Watch: School of Drag - Reality Check with Baga, Blu and Vinegar