BBC Three is returning to TV screens very soon, six years after the channel was taken off air and moved to its new home online.
The decision was taken in 2016 in a bid to attract younger audiences to the channel – but its popularity among viewers has resulted in the broadcaster deciding to bring it back.
But just when is it returning? How can you watch it once it’s back on TV? And what shows can you expect to see?
We’ve got all the information you need ahead of the exciting relaunch…
When is BBC Three returning to TV?
BBC Three will be back on our TV screens from Tuesday February 1.
The channel will broadcast every night from 7pm.
It was confirmed all the way back in September that the channel would be returning to TV, after media regulator Ofcom gave the greenlight for its comeback.
‘Our job is to ensure that any change the BBC wishes to make to its publicly funded TV, radio and online services does not give it an unfair advantage over rival broadcasters,’ Ofcom said in a statement.
‘Having conducted a detailed analysis of the BBC’s proposal, we have provisionally concluded that the public value of BBC Three returning as a broadcast channel justifies the limited adverse market impact.’
The BBC decided to relaunch the channel on TV following huge successes with such shows as Normal People and Killing Eve during lockdown – deciding they wanted to showcase its content to a ‘wider audience’ using ‘both a broadcast channel and BBC iPlayer in tandem’.
What channel will BBC Three be on?
The channel numbers for BBC Three have yet to be confirmed.
However, you will be able to access it on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.
BBC Three will also still be available online via the iPlayer, where you can livestream the channel or watch its shows on-demand.
What shows will be on BBC Three when it relaunches?
The channel will kick off its comeback with the launch of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus The World, which will see drag queens from the UK version of the franchise compete against international stars.
That show will see judges Michelle Visage, RuPaul, Alan Carr and Graham Norton return to judge the show, as nine queens from global Drag Race seasons come together for the ultimate competition – with guest judges including Katie Price, Daisy May Cooper, Jade Thirlwall, Mel C and Michelle Keegan.
Other highlights to look forward to include the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends – following up on the huge success of the TV version of her book Normal People – as well as the fourth and final series of Killing Eve and the second series of Rose Mattafeo’s Starstruck.
Also coming to BBC Three is Santa Claus the Serial Killer – a six-part true-crime series that follows journalist Mobeen Azhar in Canada, exploring the case of serial killer Bruce McArthur – as well as Flight Club, a programme exploring life behind the scenes at an airline, and Nicole Lecky’s new drama Mood.
And fans of live football are in for a treat in the very first week of the relaunch, as the station will air live coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) – including the semi-finals and the final – hosted by Jermaine Jenas.
The matches will begin at 7pm that week, with coverage starting from 6.30pm on BBC iPlayer.