Laugh Lessons commissioning the opportunity for new comedy talent. BBC Three are collaborating with the BBC Comedy Association to launch Laugh Lessons, an opportunity for production companies from across the country to pitch original short sketch ideas from new and upcoming comedy talent that will be hosted on BBC iPlayer and promoted via BBC Three social.
Following a selection process, four companies will be commissioned to produce up to five three-minute comedy sketches each.
This initiative is particularly focussed on providing new opportunities for diverse and underrepresented comedy voices, with an emphasis on finding new onscreen and behind the camera talent from across the whole of the UK.
Submissions will be accepted from the 18 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.
Unlike its commercial rivals, 90% of BBC Three’s output originated from the United Kingdom. 70% was original, covering all genres, including animation, comedy, current affairs, and drama. BBC Three had a unique 60 Seconds format for its news bulletins, adopted so that operation of the channel could be completely automated, without the complication of dealing with variable-length live news broadcasts. The former controller of the station, Zai Bennett, left to join Sky Atlantic in July 2014, at which point BBC Three commissioner Sam Bickley became acting controller.
Until March 2016, the network broadcast on Freeview, digital cable, IPTV and Satellite television platforms, and was on-air from 7 pm to around 4 am each night to share terrestrial television bandwidth with CBBC. In March 2014, as a result of a planned £100 million budget cut across the BBC, it was proposed that BBC Three be discontinued as an ‘open’ television service, and be converted to an over-the-topInternet television service with a smaller programming budget and a focus on short-form productions. Despite significant public opposition, the proposal was provisionally approved by the BBC Trust in June 2015, with a new consultation open until 30 September of that year. The TV channel ceased operations on 16 February 2016, replaced by an online-only version. A one hour block on linear BBC One has operated since 2019.
On 20 May 2020, it was announced within the BBC’s annual plan that the corporation is “considering the case” for returning BBC Three to linear television, four years after it was taken off air