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BBC Three to air episodes of unfinished series, controller says

Some productions were interrupted by lockdown but the complete episodes will still go to air.

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BBC Three (BBC)

BBC Three (BBC)

BBC Three (BBC)

TV series that did not finish production before lockdown could be broadcast in part later this year, the head of BBC Three has said.

Fiona Campbell, controller of the digital channel, said there are shows that are part delivered, so some episodes of it will go to air before the whole series is complete.

The channel has enjoyed bumper viewing figures in recent days, as the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People gave BBC Three its best week for programme requests on iPlayer, doubling a record set following the release of Killing Eve series one.

BBC Three had more than 21.8 million requests in the seven-day period after the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel became available on Sunday April 26 and the programme received 16.2 million requests in its first week, with nearly five million from 16 to 34-year-olds.

Speaking during a virtual session of the Edinburgh Television Festival, Campbell said: “Normal People managed to get everything through post-production before lockdown came.

“Some shows have part delivered so we will be able to show some episodes later in the year.

“We have this series called Angels Of The North and they have just finished delivering four episodes, and we will be able to show those shortly, they just got finished shooting and went on to edit.”

Addressing the success of Normal People, she said: “I think it probably would have happened irrespective (of the coronavirus crisis), the book had such a huge fanbase and Sally Rooney is such a cut-through original voice.

“It fits the BBC Three DNA, we are creatively focused on the 25 and under demographic, and that drama, you are sitting with the cast and they are very young and it’s firmly set in that experience of being 25 and under and the awkwardness of that life stage.

“I think that really got that in a really bang-on authentic way.”

She said that a significant number of those watching the show watched all the episodes in the first 24 hours.

Discussing whether they have made content to speak to the current crisis, she said: “We have done a few very small, targeted shows.

“On Wednesday Stacey Dooley’s Lockdown Heroes will launch on iPlayer and it will also be shown on BBC One in peak, and it’s a great show, very uplifting and a totally different tone that Stacey brings to these programmes and Kevin (Clifton, her boyfriend) makes an appearance in it as well.”

She said Michelle Visage and Yung Filly are also filming in lockdown and she added: “We have done a few small pieces, it’s more about those shows that feed into that aspirational, fun, escapist, wind-down style content to help people relax and be hopeful and have fun.”

PA