BBC 3 could get the axe but may survive on the iPlayer

The closure of BBC 3 could be announced this month after a proposal was put forward by the broadcaster's director general, Tony Hall.

The Guardian reports that BBC 3 could be shut down while BBC 4 - previously under threat - might survive to be re-numbered. The move comes as part of a plan to save £100 million a year.

But there is still hope for the youth-focused channel that first aired hit comedy Gavin & Stacey. The move has to be approved by the BBC Trust, which four years ago saved BBC Radio 6 after protests from listeners.

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It is claimed that Hall is considering keeping BBC 3 as an iPlayer only channel. Many of its programmes already debut on this online platform so the move makes sense.

BBC 3 has been criticised for using repeats of Hollywood movies and episodes of EastEnders to boost ratings. Critics have also said the channel has salacious and celebrity obsessed content.

Russell Kane, a regular on BBC3, said: "If BBC3 is really under threat, so is much of the UK's new comedy. This place is the crucible of upcoming comedic artists. Yet again, young people don't get a proper voice in the cutbacks."

The BBC's only comment on the matter came in a statement on Tuesday: "Tony Hall set out some of the very real challenges the BBC faces at his speech in Oxford. He made clear that we will face tough choices about our budgets, and while nothing is off the table, no decisions have been made."

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