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James Corden Backs Plans To Take BBC Three Off The Air

In an interview with BuzzFeed News ahead of the launch of The Late Late Show With James Corden, he argued that "BBC Three not existing as a channel on TV and lobbying for it to be on TV is the wrong argument".

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In an interview with BuzzFeed News about his new US chat show, James Corden backed plans for BBC Three to become an online-only channel.

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The comedian, whose show Gavin and Stacey was originally shown on BBC Three, told BuzzFeed News: "We've just had a Golden Globes where best comedy series, best comedy performance, and best television drama actor were all won by programmes that have never been on television. Two programmes on Amazon Prime and one on Netflix. And if you said that five years ago you would have been laughed out of the room.

"So BBC Three not existing as a channel on TV and lobbying for it to be on TV is the wrong argument. That's not the argument. Is it still going to be what is stands for? Is it is still for fresh writers, new actors, new directors, new documentary-makers? If you're still pledging to do that in the same manner, it will just exist here online, fantastic, because it is great if there is a BBC channel that is the first to do those things."

He argued that by investing in online programming, the channel could have the same success as Netflix.

"Amazon Prime is doing great things and Netflix is doing great things. Hulu is doing great things, and wouldn't it be great if BBC Three… If it only exists online, and gets nominated for a BAFTA in one or two years' time, what a great statement."

However, he also insisted that programming budgets for online services should not be slashed.

"My point is, it doesn't matter whether it exists online or whether it exists on television, it is what is the budget for that channel? If you're cutting the budget at a detriment to programmes, then this is a bad thing. If you're cutting the budget because you will be able to watch the same quality programme but it will exist in a different space, then that's great.

"I think it is archaic to be thinking about television sets and computer screens as a different thing today, you know."

A campaign to #SaveBBC3 and not close the TV channel currently has 275,000 signatures.

The BBC Trust has launched a public consultation on the proposals for BBC Three, and will publish its conclusions in the next few months.

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